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H E3 






(From Holms " Nestorian Monument.") 















First Published 1916 
Reprinted - . 1928 


(From Holm's " Nestorian Monument.") 



The "Nestorian Monument" in the Pei Lin at Hsi-an Fu 

{From Holvi's "Nestorian Monument.") 

One of the Gates of Hsi-an Fu 

{From Holm's " Nestorian Monument," p. 30.) 

Japanese Fan, showing a Phrygian Cap 
Pieces of Incense-Wood 

Specimens of the "Honeysuckle" Pattern from Japanese 
(1-6) and Chinese (7-12) Buildings 

The Cross and Title of the "Nestorian Monument" 

The Names on the Left Side of the Monument 

The Names on the Right Side of the Monument 





It is with the greatest pleasure that I recommend this 
book. It opens up a new view of the origin of much of the 
Far Eastern civilisation. Undoubtedly that civilisation has 
been largely effected by the Mahayana Buddhism, and that 
Buddhism has always been acknowledged to have had close 
relations to Christian teaching, but the exact path whereby 
some of the Christian atmosphere has permeated Eastern 
civilisation has never been so clearly traced before. The 
Western reader, while he must remember that the book is 
written from an Eastern point of view, will find much to 
interest him. Apparently the mistake made by the Nestorian 
preachers was that of being ashamed of their faith, and trying 
to recommend it merely as a branch of Buddhism. There is 
always a temptation, and always a danger in Mission work, 
to soften down the edges of our faith, to represent it as some- 
thing not so very new, not so very different from what is 
already known ; such a policy may avoid immediate difficulties 
but afterwards it tends towards defeat ; the Christianity which 
has conquered has been that which is urged with distinctness 
even amounting to harshness. It seems as if the compro- 
mising nature of Nestorianism was the reason why, when 
Buddhism fell, it was entangled in that fall and then 

Perhaps we may not agree with all the Author says about 
Nestorianism, but the reader must remember the book is 
written from an Eastern, not a Western point of view and 


that Professor Saeki does not write to elucidate an ancient 
heresy, but to show the influence Christianity had on the 
Ch'ang-an civilisation. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the erudition of the 
Author has given to the world a work of the greatest 
importance, which will be valued by all scholars and students, 
and one which should also prove of great interest to the 
general reader. 



Professor Saeki's elaborate and interesting book on " The 
Nestorian Monument in China," is one of the most important 
works ever written upon the history of the introduction of 
Christianity into the Far East, and of the still-abiding influence 
of that early Christianity in the religious thought of China and 
Japan. It is the work of a Japanese scholar who, it is need- 
less to say, is able to understand and sympathise with Chinese 
thought, speech and literature, in a way that no European 
scholar can ever hope to do, and who at the same time is 
thoroughly acquainted with the latest results of European 
scholarship and criticism. The famous monument of the early 
Christian Church at Hsi-an-fu in Western China has found in 
him a devoted and enthusiastic interpreter, and for the first 
time the story it has to tell is fully revealed to us. 

Nothing bearing upon the subject has been overlooked, 
and the book is full of new light as well as of new facts. 
Indeed, a considerable proportion jofjthe facts contained in it 
wilTbe new to most of jts^ readers, who will be surprised to 
learn that there was a time when it seemed possible that 
Christianity would be the state religion of the Chinese Empire. 
The most brilliant period in the history of China was that 
when the country was governed by the T'ang Dynasty 
(A.D. 618-906), and it was at the beginning of this period that 
the first Nestorian missionaries ^arrived ^ in Quna^jtnd _were 
favourably received by the government. The Chinese were at 
the time singularly open to foreign influence ; the terra-cotta 
figurines and the beautiful pottery and porcelain found in the 
T'ang tombs, bear the marks of Hellenistic influenc e ; cloisonn e 


^vork_g^LSJntro^ced_from Byzantium, and Arab traders were 
allowed tojrettle jind bui ldjthei r mosques Jn the^seaport towns. 
Theculture of China was carried to Japan, where the court of 
the Mikado soon began to rival that of the Chinese emperor 
in luxury and splendour. Along with this culture went a 
knowledge, more or less, of Christianity, and on two of the 
beams from the seventh-century temple of Horyuji in Japan, 
which are now in the Tokyo Museum, I have copied inscriptions 
which are in an alphabet belonging to the same class as the 
Syriac and are accompanied by crosses. 

One of the most interesting of Professor Saeki's suggestions 
is that in the Chinese secret society called Chin-tan Chiao, we 
have the descendants of the Chinese Nestorians. He is also 
successful in pointing out that the " Protestant " Buddhism of 
Japan is to be ultimately traced to Christian tradition. His 
book, accordingly, is not only one for the scholar and " general 
reader," but it is also of special importance to the ecclesiastical 
historian and to all who are interested in Christian missions 
in the Far East. It lifts the veil, as it were, from Japanese 
and, therewith, Chinese Buddhism, and reveals on the one hand 
the elements common toj Christianity and Buddhism, and on 
the other hand the fundamentaT religious conceptions which 
have to be respected and allowed for if Christianity is ever to 
win over the educated populations of China and Japan. 



" The darkest place is the foot of the lamp." The Nestorian 
Monument in China, famous as it is in the West, is not so 
well and widely known in the Far East This is strange 
enough but can be easily accounted for. It was only in the 
year 1817 that the Nestorian Inscription itself was for the 
first time made known to the Japanese. In that year, many 
books were imported from China and among them was a 
book compiled by Wang Ch'ang in 1805 called "A great 
Collection of Inscriptions on stone and metal," which contained 
the famous Nestorian Inscription in the sixty-fifth volume. 
But the sagacious Kondo Seisai was the " Inspector-General 
of Publication and Imported Books," of Japan at that time. 
As soon as he read the Nestorian Inscription, he concluded 
it had something to do with " the Religion of Jesus," which 
was then strictly forbidden by the Shogun's law, and he 
consequently declared the whole book by Wang Ch'ang 
prohibited in Japan. 

Thus it came about that nothing had ever been known 
about this famous Inscription in Japan until the year 1876, 
when Dr. Martin's Chinese book called " T'ien Tao Su Yuan " 
("The Way of Heaven Traced to its Origin"), which 
contained the Nestorian Inscription, was published by the 
London Bible and Tract Society with the Japanese reading 
marks added to the Chinese text. The work was done 
by the famous Dr. Nakamura Keiu, the translator x>f Dr. 
Samuel Smiles' s works into Japanese; but as he did not 
express his views on it, the Inscription still remained un- 
studied by Japanese scholars at large, and it is only recently 


that fresh attention has been directed to it by two of our 
learned men — Dr. J. Takakusu, Professor of Sanskrit and 
Pali at the Imperial University of Tokyo, and Dr. H. 
Kuwabara, Professor of Chinese Classics and Oriental 
History at the Imperial University of Kyoto. 

In the year 1896 Dr. Takakusu published a very interesting 
and valuable article in the well-known Journal Toung Pao. 
He had discovered the name Cking-ching, Adam, the 
Persian priest who composed the Inscription, in the Buddhist 
Sutra whilst he was associated with Professor Max Muller in 
Oxford in translating a certain Chino-Sanskrit work. 

More than nineteen years have passed since he wrote this 
article, and his article, short as it is, speaks volumes as to the 
genuineness of the stone itself. Every work on the Nestorian 
Monument in China after 1897 by European as well as 
American scholars contains some quotations from this article 
of his. Indeed without reference to his work the study is not 
complete. But he never pushed his investigation further, or 
at least he did not publish the result of his investigation as 
he promised at the end of his Toung Pao article. 

On the other hand, Dr. Kuwabara saw the very stone at 
the very spot a few years ago. He published his opinion on 
the stone in the Gei-Bun, the organ belonging to the College 
of Literature of the Imperial University of Kyoto. As he 
is so well versed in Chinese literature and history, it goes 
without saying that his descriptions of the Monument and 
his observations on the Inscription are very valuable, whilst 
his bibliography is complete. But to our great disappoint- 
ment he, too, did not go beyond the external description of 
the Monument. From the nature of the work he intended to 
do in his article perhaps he wished to avoid entering into the 
textual criticism of the Inscription. 

Far be it from the author to claim that he has filled the 
gap left by these two learned friends of his. On the con- 
trary, the author cannot but express his indebtedness to 


them and to their articles, and also to the interesting article 
" On Kobo Daishi and the Nestorians in China," by the Hon. 
Mrs. E. A. Gordon, who set up the replica of the Nestorian 
Monument at the top of Mount Koya — the holy land of 
Japan, on the 3rd of October, 191 1. The author may well say, 
therefore, that his book, small as it is, contains all the leading 
thoughts that have been expressed about the Nestorian Monu- 
ment either by the Japanese or in Japan, and at the same 
time not a little from valuable hints and suggestions on the 
Nestorian Stone in the words of such great scholars as Mr. 
Alexander Wylie, Dr. James Legge, Father H. Havret, Dr. 
Heller and many others. 

Many valuable hints and suggestions also have been 
received from Dr. D. S. Margoliouth, Professor of the Syriac 
Language and Literature at Oxford ; Mrs. Margoliouth ; 
Mr. Philip Dodge, and others. The author feels an unspeak- 
able debt of gratitude to the Hon. Mrs. E. A. Gordon, the 
authoress of the "World's Healer," who helped him from 
beginning to end most disinterestedly. Indeed, but for her 
kind help and encouragement the work would have been 

Lastly — but not the least — the author expresses his 
hearty thanks to Professor A. H. Sayce, whose kind words 
of sympathy and encouragement from time to time helped the 
author to pass through the field of drudgery and by whose 
valued intervention the publication of the book in England 
was secured. It is a great pleasure for any author to have 
a preface by Professor Sayce to get his book chaperoned in 
England, where, as we are told, people do not speak to each 
other unless they are properly introduced. How much more 
then should the present author appreciate a great service of 
kindpess rendered to him by the great professor of the 
English University whose name is so very widely known ! 

If the book rouses in any way interest on the famous 
Inscription and serves to encourage the study of the relation 


between Mahayana Buddhism and Nestorianism in China, 
credit is mainly due to those persons who kindly helped 
the author directly and indirectly. For the shortcomings 
and failures of this book the author is alone responsible, 
and sincerely begs lenient overlooking of them on the 
ground that this is the first book in which the whole subject 
has been treated in English by a Japanese. 


The Waseda University, Tokyo, 
Sept. 15th, 1913. 




THEjjESTORlANJtonewith its famous Inscription, which we 
Nestorian are now about to s tudy, is the "means wherewith 
Monument as J° J[ e ye^tke^ the East 

Wwid 1 .* 1 f ° r *£* the West which was buried in the clouds of 
histor y- t he Dark ag es^ I t furnishes a ligh t by which we 

may retrace the old route between China and the Roman 

g5ii^^i£^-& r SQ long ton obscurs, ItTstudp ^hich 
may be likened to that of the " Rosetta Sto"ne " or " Rock of 
Behistun " — is destined to throw an abundant light on the 
character of Chm e^edvilizatinn i n High Asia during the 


It is by means of this stone that we are enabled to ascertain 
the reason why we encounter some European elements in the 
Ch'ang-an civilization— a civilization so exquisitely high as to a 
place even that of Rome in the shade. Throug h itVecan at ^ l ^^^ 4 
once^rasjijy^e jdea of the position held by Assxn aA, Chris- 
tianity amongst Buddh ists, Confucianists. T *nUt* t Zn™. 
^^^£^^o^mmegS^mthe seventh, eighth, and ninth 
centuries_A.D.^ """ — ~~ 

^^ZiHI^ii^ can clearly see how 

^rej^ej^Jigious struggle for existence was, and in what a 

jajfficujt_position the Nestorian missionaries found themselves, 

in spite of the favour and recognition they received from the 

reigning sovereigns of China. In short, it is only by 


studying this Monum en t that we can decide how far the 
Ch'ang-an civilization was a Christian one. 

" Only a stone ! " I hear some one exclaim. Yes ! but 
" the very stones shall cry out " if we men fail to do so. 
" Only a stone ! " but this one has been preserved by the 
Divine Providence to reveal to us the true condition of the 
spiritual side of the T'ang Era, which lasted for some three 
hundred years (618-907 A.D.). 

It is a picture of Chinese thought. It brings to light 
the background of the Ch'ang-an civilization which influenced 
the neighbouring countries of High Asia ; and possibly it will 
illuminate the origin of the Chin-tan Chiao (^ f\^ ^), a 
strong Secret Society, which claims the immense number of 
11,000,000 adherents, and also that of Mohammedans, 
21,000,000 of whom are said to be found in China to-day.* 

Besides, the stone is actually the great torch which 
reveals the nature of the civilization which the Japanese 
received from the Asiatic Continent as the result of their 
intercourse with China during the T'ang Dynasty. Hence 
the study of the inscription is too important a subject to 
leave entirely in the hands of archaeologists. 

It should be studied not only by those who take interest 
in so-called Missionary work, but by University scholars, as 
well as by practical statesmen. 

China is the greatest problem of the twentieth century, 
and for those who desire to study China there is no better 
initiation than the study of this wonderful historic stone ! 

At present, this famous stone can be seen at Hsi-an-fu 
The (25 ~Sc Iff)' tne greatest and most historic city 

Nestorian f a u China. The name of no other place in the 

Monument, * 

where can it Far East has been so differently pronounced as 

that of this ancient capital. It has been spelled 

Hsi-an ; Si-an ; Si-gan ; Sengan ; Si-ngan ; Hsingan. Even 

in conservative China the name of the city has experienced 

* See the footnote on p. 49. 


frequent alteration. It had been Ching-chao yin (j^ ^ffe^P*) ; 
Yung-chou (Ching-chao) (%£ >$])(& $&) ; Shang-tu (Ching- 
chao-fu) (_t f|?) (j§» ^ Jff). It was during the Ming 
Dynasty that the city was for the first time denominated 

Strange to say, the modern prefectural city of Hsi-an-fu 
— which is the seat of the provincial government — really 
consists of two district cities — Ch'ang-an hsien and Hsien- 
ning hsien — within the same walls, the former occupying the 
western, the latter the eastern section. This modern 
Hsi-an-fu is better known in history as Ch'ang-an, the name 
now applied exclusively to the district in which part of the 
city stands. 

The history of Ch'ang-an is really a history of the Chinese 
Empire dating from its earliest period. It was already in 
existence in 2205 B.C., and was known then as " the Well- 
watered City" (g 7JC). It was the capital of the Chou 
Dynasty (^jj) (1122-255 B.C.). About twenty miles north- 
west of the present site another capital was founded by 
Hsien, King of Chou ($5) j§j| 3E)» under the name of Hsien- 
van g {$L $k) in 350 B.C. This was, however, given up in 
207 B.C., with the downfall of the Ch'in Dynasty, which had 
succeeded the Chou in 255 B.C. The famous A-fang-kung 
(PSJ J§ ^), the Chinese " Temple of Bel," stood about half- 
way between the present sites of Hsien-yang and Hsi-an-fu. 

With the rise of the Han Dynasty (g|) in 206 B.C., 
another new seat of the Imperial Government was founded 
by Liu Pang (^|J ^fl), the founder of the dynasty, who is 
commonly known as the Kao-Tsu of Han (g| j^ fljjj). The 
new city, together with its walls and forts, was completed in 
190 B.C., and was called Ch'ang-an ( Jf^ tJJ- jjfc) (i.e. Long- 
peace), and has ever since been known by that name. 

When the usurper Wang Mang (5^) (9 A.D.-25 A.D.) 
set up his own capital Lo-yang (^ |y|), further down the 
Huang-ho (]g Jpf, the Yellow River) in 12 A.D., and called 


it the "Eastern Capital," the older city, Ch'ang-an, still 
remained as the " Western Capital." 

The founder of the Eastern Han Dynasty again made " the 
Western Capital " the seat of his government in 24 A.D., and 
so it remained until 220 A.D., when the Empire was divided 
into "the Three Kingdoms "—Minor or Shu Han (Jgg), Wei 
(^&) anc * Wu (^). Each kingdom, of course, had its own 
capital in different parts of China, and Ch'ang-an, the ancient 
capital itself, was abandoned. 

But the glory of the old city was soon again to be revived. 
It was made the capital of all China in 589 A.D., when 
the Sui Dynasty (p^) began to rule over the reunited 

In 618 A.D., when the T'ang Dynasty came into power, 
Ch'ang-an began to realize its most glorious time. It occupied 
the position in the Asiatic Continent during the seventh, 
eighth, and ninth centuries which Madrid occupied in Europe 
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its splendour 
was proverbial for many centuries. In fact, it remained the 
finest city in the Far East until 960 A.D., when the Sung 
Dynasty ($Q arose out of the ruins of the T'ang Dynasty 
and once more changed the capital from Hsi-an-fu to Pien- 
Hang (ft §£). 

Thus Hsi-an remained the capital of China during five 
out of nineteen dynasties, or for over ten of the over thirty 
centuries of its existence. It was the greatest city in the 
Far East and is the most historic in all China. But the 
site and size of the city have not been one and the same 
at all times. The size, especially, has varied with the ups 
and downs of the reigning dynasty. In its most glorious 
time it covered about thirty square miles, while in its evil 
days it occupied only four and a half square miles. 

In the book called " Ch'ang-an Topography" (^ $£ j^) 
written by Sung Min-ch'iu (^ |$£ ?}t) in 1079 A.D., he 
remarks that "the city itself is 13 li {i.e. 5 miles) square." 

{From Holm's " Acstorian Afotiuvnut," p. 30.) 

[To face p. $. 


(& £ tl« E + H M It ft + H S)- The num- 

bcr of the postal-station towns of China in the Tang Era 
is said to have been 1639 in all. All the roads lead to 
Ch'ang-an," and 47 of these postal-station towns were 
within 100 miles from the Royal city. They were all good, 
thriving towns when Ch'ang-an was a flourishing capital. 
But with the downfall of the Pang Dynasty its glory 
departed, and the attached towns and suburb-villages de- 

The present city was thus correctly described by Mr. C. F. 
Hogg, a great authority on Chinese topography : 

" Calculating that something more than half an hour's 
brisk walking will take one through the city from East to 
west, we are safe in saying that the circumvallation 
measures certainly not more than ten miles. The city lies 
in the shape of a parallelogram, the distance between East 
and West being considerably greater than that of North 
and South." 

Now this is the exact outline of our city of Kyoto in 
Japan, which, we are told, was laid out after the pattern 
of that famous capital Ch'ang-an or Hsi-an-fu ! As Hsi-an 
was designated with two Chinese characters denoting the 
" Western capital " or " West pacified," so in old days was 
Kyoto, which even now is known as the "Western Capital" 

The only difference between Kyoto and Ch'ang-an is that 
the Chinese capital was surrounded on all sides by immense 
stone walls some 30 feet high, with towers on the gateways 
which are much higher still, whilst the ancient Japanese 
capital was not walled in the same way as the Chinese city, 
although it had its walls and as many gates as Hsi-an-fu— 
16 outer and 9 inner— each of which bore a similar name 
to that of those gates in the Chinese capital. 

The location of Hsi-an-fu is 109 30' longitude and 34 if 
North latitude. It stands in the district not far from the 


place where the Wei and the Ching (fg 7jC. Jg 7jt) flow 
into the Yellow River. Being the terminus of the great 
caravan-roads throughout Asia, it was really a reservoir into 
which anything and everything from those outside countries 
which were commonly known as " Western Regions " lying 
beyond the desert and the prairies were gathered and from 
which, in turn, ampler currents of Oriental history have 

In the eastern part of Hsi-an-fu, which is known as Hsien- 
ning (Jg£ S|£), there is a place called " Pei-lin " ( J^. $£) which 
means the " Forest of Tablets," where the Chinese keep not 
only all the precious stone monuments of the city and its 
neighbourhood, but also some from other cities. Since 
October 2, 1907, our famous monument has lain in the Pei-lin, 
well protected from wind and rain as well as from the 
mischievous hands of children. 

Dr. Kuwabara, Professor of Chinese classics and Oriental 
What is the History m the Imperial University of Kyoto, who 

Monument saw the stone standing on its old site in the back- 

yard of the temple ground, and by a fortunate 

chance witnessed its actual removal to the Pei-lin " Forest of 

Tablets " for preservation, thus describes it : 

" In the autumn of 1907 A.D., intending to make an 
excursion to Hsi-an-fu and its neighbouring places of renown, 
we left Peking for Hsi-an on the 3rd of September. After 
spending sixteen days on the way, we finally reached Hsi-an- 
fu on the 19th of the same month. And spending a week in 
the ancient capital for sight-seeing and investigating many 
things in connection with our historical studies there, we 
finally went to the Chin-sheng-ssu (^ Tjjfff. ^p),the Buddhist 
temple, behind which the famous Nestorian Stone stood. 

"This Chin-sheng-ssu temple stands aj a place a little 
more than a mile outside the Western Gate of the city. 
Ch'ung-sheng-ssu (||| §| ^p) was the name by which the 
temple was known in the tenth and twelfth centuries, whilst 


Ch'ung-jen-ssu (^ £ ^f ) was the name given to it during 
the Ming Dynasty (i 368-1664 A.D.) as well as in the Manchu 
Dynasty (1662-1911). But Chin-sheng-ssu (^ ($f ^f) is 
the common name for it. 

"The building was burned down in 1862 A.D. during the 
Mohammedan trouble and nothing left but a heap of ruins. 
The old site and the remaining stones of the temple, however, 
speak volumes for its former glory, the site itself covering 
more than two acres of ground. 

" The present temple is quite new, being recently built, 
and is very poor and unworthy indeed. But behind this 
temple there is a ruined stone gateway built in 1584 A.D., 
inscribed with the four Chinese characters Ch'i-yiian-che'n- 
ching (jjjj£ p|) JIl tjjfa), which means ' the best of the Garden 
that was dedicated to Sakyamuni.' 

" Not far from this ruin and standing almost opposite it, 
th^re are several monuments erected during the Ch'eng-hua 
(1464-1487) and Chia-ching (1522-1566) periods of the Ming 
Dynasty. They all record the past history of the temple. 

" Behind the stone gateway and to the North of it we see, 
some sixty yards ahead, five comparatively large stones 
standing in a row. The second monument from the East is 
the famous Nestorian Stone ! The rest are all monuments 
that were set up after 1738 A.D. 

"The Nestorian Monument has no shelter. It is not 
protected at all from wind and rain as well as against 
mischievous human hands. Two days after we saw this 
famous Monument, we left the city for a week's trip to the 
northern part of the country. We returned to the city again 
on the 4th of October. On entering the Western Gate that 
day, we met a body of coolies carrying a big foundation stone 
shaped like a tortoise towards the centre of the city. The 
stone was not unfamiliar to us, but we were in a hurry to 
return to our hotel, and did not stop to make any enquiries 
about it. 


"That night, however, we had a visit from a Japanese 
professor in connection with the Hsi-an-fu school. He told 
us that there had been a rumour that a certain foreigner had 
arrived in the city and had tried to buy the famous stone 
for a sum of 3,000 taels in order that he might sell it to the 
British Museum, and that this rumour had so startled the 
Governor of the Province of Shenshi, that he had ordered 
the Nestorian Monument to be carried to the Pei-lin, Forest 
of Tablets, and forbidden any one without the permission of 
the proper authorities even to take a rubbing of it 

"Hearing this, we concluded that the tortoise-shaped 
foundation stone we had seen being carried into the city 
through the Western Gate a few hours before must have 
been the very stone, and we finally decided to visit the back 
yard of the Chin-sheng-ssu temple the following morning, 
that is to say, on the 5th of October. We did so, and found 
(as we expected) that the stone had gone from its old site 
where it had stood for so many years ever since its excava- 
tion in 1623 a.d. 

"We were rather glad to find this, because the stone 
thus carried into the Pei-lin is now under the protection of the 
Chinese authorities. We left Hsi-an-fu on the 9th of October 
for Peking. In the afternoon of the 12th of the same month, 
we halted at Fu-shui-chen (^ 7JC $§), and there we chanced 
to observe a very large cart passing by. It was, no doubt, 
constructed with a special purpose to carry something very 

" It was drawn by seven or eight horses, which had very 
great (unspeakable) difficulty with the weight of their heavy 
load, owing to the bad state of the road after the rain. On 
enquiring what it might be, the chief coolie replied that they 
were carrying a Monument newly made at Hsi-an-fu down 
to Cheng-chou (^ j>\\). Then we could not but remember 
what we had seen and heard at Hsi-an-fu ! 

"We were curious enough to wish to peep at this 



Monument. But owing to the incessant rain which had 
previously fallen, the road was too muddy to examine it, 
even if the stone had not b(*n so well packed that there was 
no telling whether it was even a newly made one, as the 
coolie professed it to be, or not ! 

" With much regret we left the stone and the coolies ; and 
arrived at Peking on the 20th of October. In January, 1908, 
we received a letter from our friend and fellow-traveller 
Prof. T. Uno, together with a copy of ' the Han-kow Daily 
News,' in which we found that the foreigner referred to 
above was no other than Dr. Frits Holm, a Danish journalist ; 
and that our visit to Hsi-an-fu was at the very time when 
Dr. Frits Holm was doing his best to get the replica after 
failing to purchase the original stone." 

It will interest our readers to compare Prof. Kuwa- 
The Replica bara's account of the stone and its replica 

Monument in with Dr - Frits Holm 's own description. He 
New York. savs : 

" On the 10th of June, 1907, I first visited the resting- 
place of the unique Monument. I went out alone on horse- 
back through the West Gate, traversed the weste/n suburb, 
and, having passed some military barracks outside the 
western suburb gate, had no difficulty in finding the old 
Buddhist temple, on the premises of which the stone is 
situated. A large brick entrance in ruin and some remnants 
of a decayed loess wall show the former large extent of the 
temple. But to-day we only find a comparatively modern 
centre building which is more of a farm-house than of a 
temple. Behind this farm temple is a piece of ground where 
a large stone arch and several memorial slabs are situated. 
In a row of five stones, the Ching-chiao-pei (i.e. the Luminous 
Religion Monument) is the fourth, counting towards the East 
(Prof. Kuwabara says ' the second counting from the East '). 
Like most stones of a similar kind it stands on the back of 
a clumsily worked stone-tortoise, but nothing is left of 


a protecting shed, and nothing indicates, as some authors 
most wrongly assert, that the stone and its neighbours, 
which do not even stand in a straight line, have ever been 
built into a brick wall. But there is no trace of any niche 
around the tablet, nor of any later wooden shed, and the 
74 years old chief Priest, who has been constantly on the 
spot for over 50 years, only remembers the stone standing 
free and frank and lonely — looking apart from the ramshackle 
of 1891. 

'The Monument is ten feet high, its weight being two 
tons. The difficulties in connection with the transport of 
the original or a replica were consequently appalling, as it 
would be necessary to transport the stone on a specially 
constructed cart over 350 miles to the nearest railway station, 
Cheng-chou (J$ >)$). 

"I may briefly mention that I did everything in my 
power to obtain the original by applying to the local 
authorities in an indirect manner, etc. ; but although the 
Chinese do not care more to-day for the stone than for any 
ordinary brick, they at once got suspicious ; and I might as 
well have endeavoured to lift the Rosetta Stone out of the 
British Museum, or take the Moabite Stone from the Louvre, 
as to carry away the Ching-chiao-pei from Hsi-an ! 

"I shall not dwell here on the almost insurmountable 
difficulties the officials and even some of the foreign mis- 
sionaries laid in my way when I decided to confine my 
efforts to obtain and carry home to Europe or America a 
replica of the venerable Tablet. Suffice it to say that both 
the local, the transport, and, eventually, the Customs' 
difficulties were all overcome in due course, and after eleven 
months on Chinese soil, I was able to leave Shanghai on the 
last day of February, 1908, bound for New York. 

"This replica is one of the most beautiful pieces of 
Chinese workmanship I have ever seen. In the first place, 
there is not a measure, not a character, not a detail that 


differs from the original Tablet — even the weight is the 
same. In the second place, this piece of art was executed 
by four native stone-cutters in eleven days, including polish- 
ing after the huge slabs had been brought from the Fu-p'ing 
quarries to Hsi-an. In the third place, the Chinese artisans 
have been able to accomplish the miracle of carving the 
Cross and chiselling the Syriac characters, which they did 
not of course know, to absolute perfection. 

"On the 16th of June, 1908, in accordance with the 
arrangement with Sir Purdon Clarke, Director, the replica 
was deposited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 
City of New York, as a loan. 

"Although the replica is not yet the property of the 
Museum, there is a probability that it will never leave its new 
abode again ; but the fact should not be overlooked that all 
the museums and universities of the world can now be 
supplied, if so desired, with plaster casts of the Nestorian 
tablet, casts which would not be more accurate had they 
been taken from the original itself." 

In 1909, when Prof. Y. Okakura went to New York, he 
examined Mr. Holm's replica in the Central Museum and 
found, to his satisfaction, that it was a very good replica 

So much for the first replica that was made. Now let us 
Another sa ^ a ^ ew worc * s about the " second replica in the 

Replica in world" which stands to-day at the top of Mt. 

Koya — the Holy Land of Japan. 

To explain why the replica was set up there on the 21st CA . P 
of September, 191 1, we must ask the reader to accompany 
us~ "from Hsi-an-fu to Mt. Koya, .where the famous Kobo 
Daishi, "the Great Teacher of the Law," opened the 
monastery of Kongo-buji in the year 816 A.D. 

This famous monastery belongs to a sect known as 
Shingonshu (^ ~g £j£), which means the " True- Word - 


Being numerically the strongest in Japan — the member- 
ship of this Buddhist sect numbering a little over 17,538,000 
(the Shinshu sect has 13,325,619)— the erection of this 
replica is very full of promise, for every year half a million 
Pilgrims of all ages and classes and from all parts of Japan 
climb the Holy Mountain to visit the tomb of Kobo Daishi 
in the Okunc-in, so that the stone is sure to speak aloud and 
strongly in God's due time ! 

It was dedicated, with full Buddhist ceremonial, on 
Sunday, Oct. 3rd, 191 1, and is an exact copy of the original 
stone. It stands just within the entrance to the wonderful 
cemetery of the Okuno-in, where tens of thousands of the 
Japanese, from Emperors to peasants, have been laid to rest 
in expectation of the Coming of Miroku — the expected 
Messiah of the Buddhists — during the 1100 years since their 
beloved and venerated saint Kobo Daishi returned from 
Ch'ang-an, where he is supposed to have seen that "Speaking 
Stone " which the Nestorian Monks had erected there only 
23 years before his arrival. 

The Nestorian Tablet is just over 9 feet in height by 
The Descrip- l\ feet in width, and a little under a foot thick. 

Original 1 * lt was no doubt hewn out of the celebrated stone 
Stone. quarries of Fu-p'ing-hsien. 

" The material is a black, sub-granular oolitic limestone 
(with small oolites scattered through it), probably dating 
from the Carboniferous formation of some 15 or 20 millions 
of years ago." 

The figure-head decoration of the Tablet consists of an 
immense pearl between two creatures called " Kumbhira," 
which Dr. Eitel describes as " a monster with the body of a 
fish, but shaped like a snake and carrying pearls in its tail " ; 
but others say that it was a four-footed crocodile, over 20 
feet long. 

Now "peai!" is called "hoshu" or "tama" in Japanese, 
and in Sanscrit chindamani — the incarnation of all the 


principles of prayer.* But here we are sure that the pearl 
symbol has the regular Nestorian significance. We read in 
the " East Syrian Daily Offices," by Arthur John Maclean :— 

" O illustrious martyr, Mar Sergius ! A pearl without 
flaw. A light hath shone in thy soul : thou hast bought 
it with thy blood, and become rich thereby " (p. 46). 

"The Athletes saw a pearl without flaw on the top of 
Golgotha " (p. 48). 

" And, as by a bridge, they crossed the sea of the world 
by the Cross. To Eden (the high pearl), which is their 
dwelling" (p. 124). 

" My mind wondered at the blessed company of athletes, 
the famous martyrs. How they despised and scorned this 
world and its desires. In tlie glorious brightness of tlie pearl 
which is at the head of the Cross. With piercing eyes they 
looked and saw it. And desired to seize it." 

This "Kumbhira" design at the head of the stone is 
thoroughly Buddhistic. It is a Hindoo idea which the 
Nestorian Missionaries adopted ; and that this " Kumbhira " 
design was quite common at the time may easily be seen 
from a monument at Seoul in Korea, which has been well 
illustrated in Vol. I. of Mrs. Bird-Bishop's " Korea." 

The ceiling in the former Throne-room in Keum-chyong 
displays a similar device. Between Pingyang and Chin- 
nampo the Japanese discovered some dolmens with interest- 
ing frescoes said to date back to the fourth or fifth century. 
A fine copy of such fresco may be seen at the Museum in 
Seoul with the same design. 

* "In any world where there is not known 

The Law of Buddha, which is the Pearl of good qualities, 
There I pray that all (Bodhisattvas) shall be born 

And show (the people) the Law of Buddha, just like Buddha Himself." 
The quotation is from the Jodo-ron, or " Pure Land Sastra," i.e. the Amitayus- 
sutropadesa, translated by Bodhiruki in the 6th century a.d., and Don-ran 
compiled a commentary on this Sastra ; and upon this work, according to Dr. 
Nanjio, the theology of Doshaku and Zendo was built (see the Introduction, 
XXV., "A short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects," by Bunyo 
Nanjio, M.A. Oxon.). 


In the centre of the figure-head right under the Pearl 
is the apex of a triangle, which forms a canopy over nine 
clearly carved large Chinese characters arranged vertically 
in three lines which form the "Titular Heading" of the stone. 
Their literal meaning is "The Monument Commemorating 
the Propagation of the Ta-ch'in Luminous Religion in the 
Middle Kingdom." 

Observing narrowly this roof-shaped, triangular form, we 
cannot but be struck by the unique and most suggestive 
symbolic signs, viz. the Cross, the Cloud, the Lotus-flower 
and two branches of a tree or grass — which may be taken 
either for a myrtle-branch, or a lily — the one a regular 
Buddhistic emblem, and the other a familiar Christian 

The Cross on the stone is said to be not very clear now, 
and must almost be searched for before it is found. But 
in the rubbing of the inscription it comes out quite clearly. 

The form of the Cross is said, by one authority, to be a 
copy from memory of the Roman Papal Cross of the sixth 
century ; but it somewhat resembles that on St Thomas's tomb 
at Meliapor in S. India, and like it, bursts into fleurs de lys 
at each point, just as Pere Somedo describes. Be that as it 
may, the Cross symbol is quite sufficient to prove that the 
stone itself is a Christian monument ! 

Beneath the Cross — i.e. supporting the Cross, there is the 
Cloud, which the Chinese describes as a " Flying-cloud " 
(M 31) or " White-cloud " (Q |g). This is the character- 
istic symbol of Taoists as well as of Mohammedans in 

Beneath this Cloud there lies a Lotus-flower (^ 3g) t 
the characteristic emblem of Buddhists. The design was 
doubtless used to denote that the "Three Religions are 

Then comes the inscription (which consists of one 
thousand nine hundred Chinese characters and about fifty 


Syriac words), besides some seventy Syriac names in rows 
on the narrow sides of the stone with the corresponding 
Chinese characters which denote the Chinese synonyms or 
phonetics for the Syriac names. 

These Syriac names alone supply a unique key whereby 
to discover the old sounds of the Chinese characters in the 
Pang Era. 

In the text there are three or four Syriac words, such as 
" Satan," " Messiah," " Eloah," as well as Sanscrit words, such 
as " Sphatica," " Dasa " ; and even one Persian word to 
denote " Sunday," the first day of the week, " Yaksambun " 
(jlS iSt 30' besides a great many more Buddhist and 
Taoist expressions, and still more extensive quotations from 
the Chinese Classics. 

This is a very important question, but so far it has not 
Where was been made clear. There are three or four different 
firsfdU- 6 theories as to the exact spot where the Nestorian 
covered? stone was excavated in the early part of the 
17th century. 

The first theory, started by Martini and others, insists 
that the stone was first dug out at an old town called San-yuan 
(5E M) which is located 90 li (i.e. 35 miles) to the North 
of Hsi-an-fu, and which is the native place of the well-known 
Chinese Christian and High Official, Dr. Philippe Wang 

a mm- 

But this opinion cannot be so readily accepted, since 
Pere Trigault and his party who were in San-yuan in 1625 
a.d. do not maintain this view. 

Trigault was ordered in April of 1625 by Pere Emmanuel 
Diaz (jr.), who had been appointed Superior of the Society of 
Jesus in 1623, to make every effort to have a house bu'lt 
outside the Metropolis Hsi-an-fu. But Trigault had scarcely 
arrived at San-yuan when he fell sick and was laid in bed 
for five months. 

By the time Trigault recovered from his illness, Dr. Philippe 


Wang had begun cautiously to suggest Trigault's plan to 
the Viceroy and some other mandarins in Hsi-an-fu : and 
finally he visited the metropolis together with Trigault some 
time in November, 1625. 

If the stone had been in San-yuan (^ Jjgl), these two 
men should have t>een the first eye-witnesses to bear 
testimony on this point. But neither of them gives any 
testimony in favour of the theory. On the contrary, Trigault 
says in his diary, as we are told : " This year, 1625, outside 
the country-town of Chou-chih, which was ten leagues away 
from the metropolis, a stone was discovered, on which the 
Chinese and Chaldean writings were inscribed. By these 
writings we can be sure that the Law of our Lord was 
preached to the Chinese a long time ago." 

The second theory says that the stone was found in the 
suburb of Hsi-an-fu. This was asserted by Lin Lai-chai 
(^C ^ 3§f)' a g reat Chinese authority on " Metal and Stone 
writings." He says : 

"A devout child of Tsou Ching-ch'ang ($$ |§J j|), 
Governor of Hsi-an-fu, died rather suddenly. The grave for 
the child was dug in the South of the Ch'ung-jen-ssu 
(HI £ ^-jp) (a Buddhist temple in the Western suburb of 
Hsi-an-fu). The workmen lighted on a stone which had been 
buried several feet deep in the ground. This stone proved 
to be the Nestorian Monument ! " 

Now, the south side of the Ch'ung-jen-ssu is in the 
western suburb of Hsi-an-fu. The distance from the City 
gate is about one mile and a half. 

If we were to accept this second theory, we might safely 
conclude that the stone had been originally erected in the 
precincts of the first Nestorian monastery which was built in 
638 A.D., for the Ch'ung-jen-ssu itself is very close to the 
ancient site of I-ning Ward (|| ^ tft). 

But this theory, too, cannot be accepted as so many 
authorities are against it. 



The third theory says that the stone was found at a 
certain place not far from Chou-chih (%£ Jg j|g). Now, 
Chou-chih is 160 li (t£. about 6$ miles) south-west of Hsi-an- 
fu, whilst the place where the stone was discovered is said to 
be 30 miles from the capital. 

Pere Havret, author of u La Stele Chr£tienne de Si-ngan- 
fou ," concludes as follows : 

It is not at San-yuan nor in the suburbs of Hsi-art>, but 
at or near Chou-chih — a place 30 miles from Hsi-an-fu, that 
the stone was actually found ! 

In support of this theory, Pere Havret quotes some very 
rare works on the stone, and very precious documents pre- 
served only at Rome. The great names of Kircher, Trigault, 
Bartoli, Thomas Ignace Dunyn-Szpot, and Antoine de 
Gouvea, who bear testimony in favour of this theory are 
enough to strengthen it. 

But here comes in the fourth theory which insists on the 
stone being found in the neighborhood of Hsi-an-fu and which 
we must harmonize with the third theory. The theory was 
that of Emanuel Diaz and Alvarez Semedo. The former 
wroTe"a~lKfo1r^n*"The Nestorian Inscription in 1641 A.D., 
whilst the latter went up to Ch'ang-an to examine the stone 
by himself in 1628 A.D. It is moreover strongly supported 
by the writings of the two most famous Chinese Christians 
of the time, Dr. Leon Li (^ j£ §1) aad Dr - Paul Hsu 
(ffe yt ^F) ' and it: was to tne fo rmer that the first rubbing 
of the Nestorian Inscription was sent by Chang Keng-yii 
(5M Jft JH)' who lived in Ch'i-yang (|fc£ g§) 50 li east of Feng- 
hsiang-fu (J^ |§] Jg), which is situated 165 li (i.e. 70 miles) 
north-west of Chou-chih in 1625, whilst Chang Keng-yu 
himself does not say that he saw it at Chou-chih as alleged 
by some writers. 

On the 1 2th of June, 1625, Dr. Leon Li writes : 

* During my residence in retirement between Ling and Chu 
{i.e. Hang-chou) Mr. Chang Keng-yu, a native of Ch'i-yang, 


who is one of our best friends, sent me a rubbing of an 
inscription of the T'ang Era, saying : - recently in Ch'ang-an, 
they dug out a stone bearing the title, 'The Monument 
Commemorating the Propagation of the Luminous Religion 
in the Middle Kingdom/ We have never heard of the name 
before. But is this not the same Western Holy Teaching 
that has been preached by Matteo Ricci ? * etc. 

In 1627, Dr. Paul Hsu tffe % Jgf), a high official of the 
Chinese Government, wrote a book called " Iron Cross " 
(^1 "t" -?) m wn * cn ne vindicated the Christian Faith. 
He says : 

" In Ch'ang-an, they dug out ' The Monument Com- 
memorating the Propagation of the Luminous Religion in 
the Middle Kingdom/ " 

In his book called "A Critical Study on the Nestorian 
Inscription " (Jjf ^ |$r j£ $g J£ |£), Emanuel Diaz says : 
" Originally the stone was discovered in the third year of the 
T'ien-ch'i Period (^ Jg£ ^£ &f) (i.e. 1623 A.D.) at the base of 
a ruined wall in Kuan-chung (||Jj} tfl) (i.e. Hsi-an district) while 
the workmen were digging the ground by an official command." 

The " Kuan-chung " of Emanuel Diaz, as every one knows, 
is nothing but the classical name for Ch'ang-an and its neigh- 
bourhood. Of course it includes the western suburb of the 
modern Ch'ang-an and in wider sense it even includes Chou- 
chih itself — which once formed the westernmost end of the 
Ch'ang-an district. 

We think it entirely wrong to say that the stone was 
discovered in Hsi-an-fu, because it was actually unearthed in 
1623 at a certain spot thirty miles west of Hsi-an-fu as insisted 
on by those who hold the fourth theory ; whilst on the other 
hand we deem it equally wrong to insist that the stone was 
discovered at Chou-chih, because it was actually excavated 
at a spot thirty miles east of Chou-chih, as is equally alleged 
by those who maintain the third theory. 

In fine we may conclude that the stone was discovered 


at a certain spot just between Hsi-an-fu and Chou-chih — 
a few miles nearer to Hsi-an-fu than to Chou-chih. After 
all, Alvarez Semedo was not wrong in saying that the 
stone was discovered in the western neighbourhood of 

We are told by Alvarez Semedo, as well as by Pere Havret, 
that the Governor of the Hsi-an Prefecture hastened to the 
spot where the stone had been discovered and paid homage 
to this ancient relic by making a most profound and solemn 
bow to it, and ordered the transportation of the stone to the 
outside yard of the Taoist temple in the western surburb of 

Long as the distance is and heavy as the stone was, 
the transportation of the Monument to the western suburb 
of Hsi-an by the Tsao-Ho (|| ^Bj) and then by the 
Wei-Ho ( JH |8j) may have not been so difficult a matter ; 
the stone was carried there and stood there until 1907. 

It was in 1625 A.D. that the existence of the stone 
When was attracted tne attention of the Roman Catholic 
the Stone missionaries in the Far East, who then made it 
known to the Christian world in Europe. 
Although there are three different theories about the date 
of its discovery, so far no one has ascertained what it was 
exactly ; but it is generally supposed to have been discovered 
in 1625 a.d. 

First of all, Emanuel Diaz in his book published in 1644 
A.D., fixed the date of its discovery as 1623 A.D. 

But many authorities agree in saying that it was discovered 
in 1625 A.D., since Nicholas Trigault who visited Hsi-an-fu 
in 1625 A.D. saw the stone in the back yard of Chin-sheng-ssu 
in October of that year, and says that it was discovered in 
1625 A.D. 

Dr. Leon Li, as we have remarked already, wrote on the 
1 2th of June, 1625, using the word " recently." So there may 
be some who would insist that the stone was discovered in 


the early months of 1625 a.d. But it must have taken at 
least a few months for the rubbing sent by Chang Keng-yii 
to reach Dr. Leon Li ; for the one was residing in about 130 
miles west of Hsi-an-fu and the other was in the neighbour- 
hood of Hang-chou-fu, at Che-kiang. 

If Chang Keng-yii himself had seen the stone at Chou-chih, 
as stated by Mr. Moule, there would be no difficulty in fixing 
the date as well as the place of its discovery. But so far 
we fail to find any positive testimony to prove what these 
writers say. 

On the contrary, we think that Chang Keng-yii could not 
have seen the stone in the eastern neighbourhood of Chou- 
chih for several reasons. For instance, granting that the 
stone was actually found at Chou-chih, it must have been 
some time before the news of the discovery of the stone 
reached him in his home at the foot of Ch'i-shan, which is 70 
miles away from Chou-chih. How much more so if the stone 
was actually discovered 35 miles away from Chou-chih — 
105 miles away from his home ! We think, therefore, 
that the news of the discovery of the Nestorian Stone 
spread much morely quickly after, not before, its removal 
to Hsi-an-fu by the end of 1624 or in the early part of 
1625 A.D. 

So Chang Keng-yii must have heard of the stone very 
early in 162 5, and if he saw the stone we think it was at the 
western suburb of Hsi-an-fu — but not at Chou-chih : and it 
must have been some time in March or April that he got 
his rubbings made to send one copy of them to Dr. Leon Li 
in Hang-chou. 

Mr. Ch'ien (§| ^ [J)f ), a Chinese authority on " The 
Inscriptions on Stone and Metal," tried to fix the date of its 
discovery between A.D. 1573 and 1620. 

Judging, therefore, from the evidence, it must have been, 
beyond doubt, already discovered and removed to Hsi-an-fu 
as early as 1625 A.D. So it is quite safe to say that it was 


discovered sometime early in 1625 A.D. if we cannot accept 
Emmanuel Diaz's theory of 1623 ! * 

Anyhow it must have been discovered before March in 
1625 A.D., although not earlier than 1620 A.D., for in that year 
the famous Jules Aleni, one of the most energetic of the Jesuit 
missionaries, visited Shen-si. Had the stone been already 
exhumed, he would certainly have heard of it. We think 
that his complete ignorance of the stone must have been due 
to the fact that it had not then been discovered. 

The exact circumstances under which the stone was 
How was it discovered are not known, and we are still in the 
discovered? dark as to who actua n y did discover it. 

A great authority on Chinese archaeology says that some 
workmen found it when digging a grave in the suburb of 
Ch'ang-an wherein to bury the child of a town official, and 
that the people of Ch'ang-an at that time believed the dis- 
covery to be due to the guidance of the departed spirit of 
this child, who was a most earnest little Buddhist ! Another 
authority says that a farmer when ploughing, happened to 
light on the stone. Mr. Moule says : 

" Early in the year 1625, perhaps about the beginning of 
March, trenches were being dug for the foundations of some 
building near the district town of Chou-chih, thirty or forty 
miles to the west or south-west of the city of Hsi-an, when 
the workmen came upon a great slab of stone buried several 
feet beneath the surface of the ground." 

Differing as these three accounts do, all agree on one 
point, viz. that the Nestorian Monument was dug out of the 
ground. It had been buried, no doubt, for a long, long time. 

* The best attested dates and facts make it at least possible that the stone 
was discovered in March, 1625. There are six statements that the stone was 
found in 1625. One of these is certainly, and another probably, by Trigault 
himself, who spent the greater part of 1625 at or near Hsi-an. Trigault had been 
specially ordered to examine the stone, so his evidence is likely to be good. 
He died in 1628 or 1629, so his evidence must be very nearly contemporary — one 
statement is : hoc anno 1625 invent}. (The author is indebted to Mr. A. C. 
Moule for these useful informations. ) 



One advantage this monument enjoys over other old 
monuments in China is its perfect state of preservation — due 
to its having been so long buried. Had it stood above the 
ground all these 1130 years, it would not have been in its 
present condition, and the writing upon it would not have 
been so legible ! 

Important as the question is, nothing definite in regard 
Where was to it has ever yet been made out. But the fact 
erected°n ' tnat tne stone was discovered buried in the 
781 A.D.? ground between Hsi-an and Chou-chih naturally 
suggests two theories. 

One is that the stone might have been erected in Chou- 
chih instead of Hsi-an. Mr. Moule says : 

"The fact that the original church at the capital seems, 
as we shall see, to have survived that edict (of a.d. 845) 
is thus an argument in favour of the first erection and dis- 
covery of the monument at Chou-chih rather than, as some 
early authorities state, at Hsi-an itself" (p. 79, "Journal 
of the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society," 
Vol. XLL, Shanghai, 1910). 

In order to decide whether or not this new theory is right, 
we have to describe to a certain extent the state of things at 
Chou-chih in 781 A.O. as well as we possibly can. 

Chou-chih itself is sixty-five miles west of Hsi-an-fu and 
its old name was Chou-nan (^§| j|jj), but ever since 206 B.C. 
it has kept the name of Chou-chih (|t$£ J§|). According to an 
authoritative Chinese dictionary, the Cheng-tzii-fung, " Chou '' 
means M mountain-corner " and "chih" means "river-bend." 

The name describes the town which occupies the head- 
land of the delta formed by the Wei-ho and the Tsao-ho. 
It was noted for its beautiful scenery — both land and water. 
The famous Liu Tsung-yiian (770-819 A.D.), was the 
Governor of Hsi-an from 803 to 806 A.D., and among his 
many writings we have found two masterpieces of Chinese 
classical literature. The one is called " The Inscription on 


the Wall of the Post-town Hall " (|§ $* £ff J| f£) dated 
804 A.D., and the other " On the Completion of the New 
Banqueting Hall at Chou-chih "iiKltfg) 
dated 802 a.d. 

In the former he says : " Between Ctiang-an and Chou-chih 
there are eleven stages. Their military stronghold is Yang- 
chou (pfc j>W}. Their military post is known by the name of 
Hua-yang (^ B§)" In the latter, he describes this banquet- 
ing hall, which is nothing else than a sort of English club 
in the heart of China in 802 A.D. The writings themselves 
throw an abundant sidelight upon the social life of China 
in the beginning of the ninth century. So we give here 
a full translation of the originals. 

We are perfectly aware that the original is a perfect 
specimen of prose literature — a gem of Chinese literary com- 
position, whilst the translation, however good and faithful it 
may be, is like a " broken piece of a tile " as the Chinese 
have it. Literary translation is something like looking at a 
beautiful embroidery from the wrong side ! 

" In the year 802 A.D., the banqueting hall was completed 
at Chou-chih. It stands on the right side of the town hall. 
Since the first outbreak of the rebellion (i.e. that of General An 
Lu-shan in 755-756 A.D., followed by that of General Shih Ssu- 
ming in 759A.D.), the western district (g§ $JJ)of the Imperial 
city became an important strategic point in the defence of 
the capital ; and Chou-chih was made outpost headquarters of 
the Imperial army for twenty-six years. The inhabitants 
could not remain there : they all fled for their safety from 
friend and foe. So when the army left the town at last there 
remained nothing but ruin and desolation ! The town was 
really unfit for human habitation for another nineteen years. 

" There was no town life in Chou-chih for a great many 
years, and in consequence the Chou-chih people had very- 
little occasion to meet together for a long, long time ! 

" Very recently, however, the town officials were able to 



restore the order and grandeur of Chou-chih. Already they 
have restored the broken bridges and ruined country roads. 
They have built warehouses and granaries ; they have rebuilt 
the school -houses. 

" Saving odds and ends out of these public building and 
construction expenses, one of the town officials succeeded in 
adding to the town buildings this large and beautiful 
banqueting hall. The dining-room itself measures twenty- 
two feet long from south to north with proportionate width. 
The surrounding verandas are imposing, whilst the beams 
and posts of the building are all in exquisite taste. The 
beauty of the garden and the dignity of a long flight of stone 
steps leading up to the entrance all clearly show the nature 
of the town, whilst the building itself is a credit to the people 
of Chou-chih. 

"With the lofty mountains before and behind and the 
murmuring brook streaming at the foot, this new ' banquet- 
ing hall ' claims to be just the place both for meditation and 
for merry-making. 

" We are told that as soon as the building was completed, 
a good round sum of money was assigned as a banqueting 
hall fund to meet the running expenses of the building. 

" Now every month the town officials meet here and enjoy 
themselves. And yet order is kept very decently in coming 
in and going out, and even the seats are arranged according 
to their official rank ; thus, what with salutation and what 
with laughter, they can know one another well whilst lectures 
and discussions make them understand the essentials of the 
present-day politics. 

" The cooking is good and the tables are all nice and clean, 
whilst the wine is excellent. In this hall they can enjoy all 
the real pleasure of fellowship. Even if they had come here 
as enemies, they would all go away as friends. 

"We all know that the social dinner-party is a very old 
institution. Every official circle in the capital nowadays has 


organized a certain kind of society. [Kuan-nei (i.e. Kumdan)] 
is the Imperial District, and the officials should be well 
informed with all important knowledge, and be kept in 
touch with one another. Seclusion and society make a wide 
difference ! We ought to be solemn and stern, and yet at the 
same time harmonious and kind ! With friendly intercourse 
among the officials, all forms of suspicion will disappear and 
their good words alone become conspicuous ! Let all who 
visit this hall remember the original idea of its nature, and 
let this true idea last for ever and ever ! " 

This shows that Chou-chih was made an outpost citadel 
in 758 A.D., and remained so for 26 years, that is to say, until 
784 A.D., and that after the army left the town continued for 
nineteen years in ruins ! 

This fact was well expressed by the famous Lu 
Lun in his poem written in 785 or 786 A.D., entitled : 
" Coming back to Chou-chih in Early Spring, I address my 
friends Keng Wei and Li Tuan " (Jfi ^ gg jjg g ^ ^ 
j|| ^ jjfil). which may be roughly translated as follows : 

" The sun now shone on fields where wheat once grew. 
The garden plots, the groves of green bamboo, 
The village streets were thronged with roving deer ; 
Tall weeds and ruined wells where once was cheer. 
One flowering tree alone that broke the gloom 
Was solitary there beside a tomb. 
Unbroken ice had settled on the spring 
From which we tried the water sweet to bring. 
A stony plain as far as eye could see 
Replaced the fertile fields that used to be. 
Alas ! alas ! how desolate the scene, — 
The village waste before the mountain green ! 
The only cheering token that is mine, 
Behold this branch plucked from the changeless pine ? " 

Thus two contemporary writers agree in saying that 


Chou-chih was a deserted village in 781 A.D. when the stone 
was erected ! But must we suppose that the stone had 
originally been erected at this deserted town of Chou-chih in 
781 A.D., because the stone was dug out at a certain spot 
near Chou-chih — 35 miles east of Chou-chih and 30 miles 
west of Hsi-an ? Certainly we think not. 

Then must we suppose that the stone was originally 
erected somewhere in the western neighbourhood of 
Ch'ang-an ? 

But so far as the text of the Inscription is concerned, 
there is no knowing where the stone was originally erected, 
and any conjecture may be possible. 

Our supposition is that the stone had originally been 
erected not far from the very spot where it was unearthed in 
1623 A.D., and that place may have been one of "the seven 
post-towns " which existed between Ch'ang-an and Chou-chih 
as described by Liu Tsung-yiian in 804 A.D. What he calls 
" Yang-chou " or " Hua-yang" may have been in the locality 
where the stone was discovered. It is our opinion that 
this stone was erected at a certain post-town 30 miles from 
Hsi-an-fu, and that the place must have had something to 
do with General I-ssu (ffi fljf ) mentioned in the Inscription. 

The great General Duke Kuo Tzu-i died six months after 
the erection of the stone, but evidently General I-ssu himself 
was living — this is certain from the Chinese text of the 

When the news of its discovery reached Hang-chou-fu 
How was the ($j[ j\\ Jffi) sometime in 1625 A.D., there were a 
known™* C g reat many Jesuit missionaries living there in 
the world? quiet hiding after a recent persecution in Hang- 
chou-fu (^/j[ >J\t\ JU) as we U as to escape from the dangerous 
mobs then so common, owing partly to the weakness of the 
Ming Dynasty and partly to the influence and instigation of 
the rising Manchus, who had begun to establish themselves at 
the expense of the Mings, and who actually came into power 


in 1644 A.D. As early as 161 8 A.D. the founder of the Manchu 
Dynasty rose in rebellion against the Ming Dynasty, and 
began to carry out the plan which ended in the overthrow 
of the reigning Ming power, "thus disorder ruled everywhere, 
and the missionaries were not safe at all. 

Among the missionaries then in Che-kiang (jjjft ££ ^jj) 
was the famous Alvarez Semedo, Procurator of the Provinces 
of China and Japan. In his book, u History of the Great and 
Renowned Monarchy of China " (translated into English from 
the Portuguese original in 1720 A.D.), after expressing his 
great delight at the good news which was received by Dr. 
Leon Li from his friend Chang Keng-yii in the neighbourhood 
of Ch'ang-an, he goes on to say : 

" The news was received with a spiritual jubilee in A.D. 
1625. The Chinese workmen came upon a great slab of 
stone while they were digging trenches to lay the foundation 
stones at Chou-chih, not far from Hsi-an-fu, the capital of 
Shensi. The size of the stone proved to be 9 empan * in 
length and 4 empan wide and 1 empan thick. 

4< On the extremity of the stone there is the figure of a 
pyramid, which is 1 empan at the base and 2 empan high at 
the apex. In the centre of this pyramid there is a beautiful 
cross whose ends, finishing in fleurs de lys t resemble that 
carved upon the tomb of the Apostle St. Thomas in the 
city of Meliapor. The cross is surrounded by clouds. 

" As soon as this curious stone was discovered, the Chinese 
reported it to the authorities, and the chief official came on 
horseback, and, after inspecting it most carefully, ordered it 
to be set up. He also ordered a temporary cover to be made 
for it so as to protect it from wind and rain. When the newly- 
discovered stone was set up, the public were allowed to see it." 

The removal of the stone from Chou-chih to Hsi-an-fu 
must have occurred sometime in 1623 or 1624 A.D. Semedo 

* This maybe the corruption of the Chinese word for measurement. It seems 
to correspond to one foot. 


himself went up to Hsi-an-fu in 1628 A.D., and describes his 
happiness in having been entrusted with the affairs of the 
Christian Church newly built there, because living in the 
small house attached to it afforded him the precious privilege 
of leisure wherein to study and consider most carefully the 
Nestorian Inscription. 

When he read the Chinese text he felt as St. Paul once 
had done : " God indeed had not left Himself without a 
witness ! " He thought that the long-felt desire of his pre- 
decessors, Matteo Ricci, Jules Aleni, and others was at last 
fulfilled, and the more he studied it the more delighted he 
was with the stone. 

Although he could understand the Chinese text fairly 
well, Semedo could not decipher the curious foreign writing 
on the stone — which he at once perceived was neither 
Hebrew nor Greek, but he did not recognize that it was 
Syriac — the ecclesiastical language of the Nestorian Church 
as well as the commercial tongue once spoken throughout 
Central Asia. So he went to Cochin-China on purpose to 
consult Pere Antony Fernandez at Cranganor, knowing how 
well versed he was in reading the books of the Christians of 
St. Thomas. Fernandez assured him that the characters 
were Syriac, like those which he himself was then using — ue. 
what is now known as Estrangelo. 

The text of the Inscription was first translated by a 
member of the Society of Jesus — probably Nicholas Trigault 
— into Latin, the universal language of Christendom in 
Europe. It appeared in 1625 a.d. 

In 1628 A.D., an anonymous and incomplete French 
translation from the Latin appeared — French being to the 
Catholic world what English was to the Protestant world. 

In 1 63 1 A.D. a complete Italian translation was first made 
from Portuguese — probably by Semedo, whose Portuguese 
translation with notes appeared afterwards in 1638 A.D. 

The news of the discovery naturally flew to Rome as well 


as to Lisbon, and by 163 1 A.D., only eight years after the 
stone had been lifted out of its grave in the place not far 
from Hsi-an, the whole story had been made pretty well 
known amongst the leading scholars of Europe as well as 
in the missionary field. 

In 1636 A.D., the famous Athanasius Kircher, a man of 
varied research and a professor of mathematics in the College 
at Rome, described the discovery of the stone in his book, 
<c Prodromus Coptus Sive Aegyptiacus," and many years 
later — in 1667 A.D. — he again treated the subject in a book 
called " China Illustrated," published at Amsterdam.. 

By giving a transcript of the Chinese and reproducing 
the Syriac text, he explained it thoroughly, and through his 
efforts the whole of the Nestorian Inscription in China was 
thus first submitted to the critics in Europe. 

About the year 1653 A.D., Antoine de Gouvea translated 
it into Latin. M. Boym's Latin version of about A.D. 1653 
was printed in Kircher's "China Illustrated," 1667; and in 
1663 A.D. Daniel Bartoli published a compilation of all the 
previous works on the Inscription. And so the news spread 
gradually and steadily throughout the Catholic world* 

Now let us see how it affected the Protestants. The 
news of the discovery was diffused chiefly through the 
medium of the English language into which Semedo's work was 
first translated in 1655 A.D. — ix. about two years after Oliver 
Cromwell was made Lord Protector of the Puritan Common- 
wealth of England, and only one year before the " Christi- 
anity-prohibition-board " appeared everywhere in the " Land 
of the Rising Sun " under the fourth Shogun, Iyetsuna. 

Through the mighty pen of Edward Gibbon, the historian, 
the fact was again revealed to the world at the end of the 
1 8th century. During the 19th century many translations 
of the text appeared by such scholars as Dr. Bridgman 
(1845), Mr. Alexander Wylie (1854), and Dr. Legge (1888), 
in English ; whilst amongst the French we have those of 


Abbe Hue (1857), M. G. Pauthier (1858), and Pere Havret 
(1902) ; and amongst the German, those of Prof. Neumann 
of Munich (1866) and Dr. Heller (1885, 1897). All these and 
many more made the stone famous throughout the Western 

Whilst European scholars have taken so much interest 
The study of in the Nestorian Stone of China during so many 
tion 'Jn^the vears » we are ashamed to confess that very little 
Far East. indeed has been done by either Japanese or 
Chinese ! 

For instance, in China itself where the stone is still to 
be seen, the study of the Inscription has neither been very 
popular nor attractive owing to the prevalence of anti-Christian 

Only a few Chinese archaeologists and students of the 
calligraphy of the T'ang era and those interested in " Writing 
on Metal and Stones," know of the stone's existence. 

Generally speaking, the opinions expressed by Chinese 
scholars remind one of a blind man's description of an 
elephant, for sometimes their criticism is altogether beyond 
the mark, owing to their ignorance of Christianity itself, as 
well as of Syriac and of the foreign terms which are found 
in the Inscription. 

A_bojokjhowever f written^ bv_Mr. Yang Yung-chih 
(fJI ^1 $S)» c alled "A Critical StudyonT he Nestorian In- 
scription," gives a tolerably good account of the views of the 
Chinese Christians concerning the Inscription. But even 
this book, suggestive as it is in a way, is far from being 
complete, and does not quite come up to the standard of 
a critical study on the subject. 

But we hope and trust that as a nation the Chinese will 
pay more attention to it, after Dr. Frits Holm's attempt 
to buy the stone for the British Museum in 1907, and since 
the first President of the Chinese Republic, Dr. Sun-yat-sen, 
in his official letter to the people of China on the 5th of 


January, 19 12, referred to the Nestorian Inscription in order 
to prove that China was once not behind the rest of the 
world in opening up her territories to foreign intercourse. 

As the result of over fifteen hundred years' intercourse 
with China, and so many years' study of her literature and the 
adoption of things Chinese, Japanese scholars are generally 
accredited with as thorough a knowledge as the Chinese 
scholars themselves on all and every point of the classics 
and literature of China. 

But, strange to say, very many Japanese do not know of 
the stone's existence, whilst very few take interest in it ! 

This is strange enough, but can be easily accounted for. 

It was only in the year 18 17 that the Nestorian Inscrip- 
tion was first made known to some learned Japanese through 
the importation of Chinese books, among which there was 
a large work called " A Great Collection of Inscriptions on 
Metal and Stone," compiled by the famous Wang Ch'ang 

(3E M) in * 8 05 A.D. 

It deals with nearly one thousand inscriptions, long and 
short, from about 2000 B.C. down to 1264 a.d. The larger 
part of the sixty-fifth volume is occupied with the Nestorian 
Inscription. The whole text (except the Syriac) is given. 

Although the work is not without errors of transcription, 
on the whole it is complete and contains even the compiler's 
own criticisms as well as those of others which were added 
to each text. 

As soon as this work — one hundred and sixty volumes 
in all — by Wang Ch'ang was inspected by the Government 
authorities at Yedo, the sagacious Kondo Seisai, Inspector- 
General of Publications and Imported Books, found the 
Nestorian Inscription in it, and concluding that it was related 
to the " Religion of Jesus," which was then forbidden by the 
strict law of the Shogunate, he declared the whole work of 
Wang Ch'ang to be proscribed in Japan. 

Although Kondo Seisai was clever enough to discover 


the Inscription, the whole Japanese nation was kept so com- 
pletely in the dark about the Nestorian Monument that they 
did not even hear its name until some years after the 
Restoration, a.d. 1865 ! 

It was only after 1872, when the Japanese Government 
in its Treaty with the Foreign Powers gave the people 
religious liberty by taking down the notorious " Christianity- 
prohibition-boards," that we began to hear about the 
Nestorian Inscription in Japan. 

During the most glorious reign of the late great Meiji 
Emperor (1867-1912), we can cite only three scholars who 
have paid much attention to the subject in their writings, viz. 
Dr. Takakusu, Dr. Kuwabara and the late Dr. Nakamura. 

Since Mr. Holm carried the first replica of the Nestorian 
Monument to America — and since an Irish lady (the Hon. 
Mrs. Gordon) had a second replica made and erected on the 
summit of Koya San — the Holy Mount of Japan, it is surely 
the duty of the Japanese to make a pilgrimage there and 
study for themselves this wonderful stone with a view to solve, 
if possible, the religious difficulties and futile contentions in 
Japan and China which (being the largest missionary field of 
the world) are the centre of severe strife between natives and 
foreigners on the one hand, and of unhappy divisions between 
Christian and non-Christian relatives on the other. 

That the civilization and culture of the T'ang Dynasty in 
China was really the model for the Japanese Government 
and nation, we already knew ; but when studying this Syrian 
Monument and its Inscription we feel that the Great T'ang 
did not fail to supply us also with a model for the religious 
policy of Japan ! 

When our Gyogi Bosatsu (680-749 A.D.), and Kobo 
Daishi (774-835 A.D.), and other advanced thought-leaders 
endeavoured to harmonize the Japanese national cult, they 
wisely took a leaf out of the Nestorian book in China ! 
How the Japanese people can now best utilize the stone is 



therefore a question of paramount importance to the whole 
civilized world ! 

Believing as we do that this twentieth century will see 
China opened up in many ways, and that Chinese thought 
will become better understood in Christendom as was that of 
India in the nineteenth century, we are strongly convinced 
that the Nestorian Monument will supply any European or 
American who desires to understand either China or Japan 
with the true compass for guiding him through his intricate 

Soon after its discovery, the Nestorian Stone attracted the 

_ u attention of several Chinese scholars, who ex- 

Tne reception 

of the News plained its important points as best as they 
in the West. coul( ^ accon ji n g to their own ideas, and expressed 

their opinions without reserve. 

But though all sorts of opinions were expressed, not one 
even suggested that the stone was * the fabrication of a later 
age." On the contrary, its calligraphic characteristics — on 
which the Chinese are great experts — (i.e. style and character 
of the handwriting) all Chinese scholars agree in pronounc- 
ing to belong decidedly to the T'ang era. 

But in the West many noted men have expressed their 
opinions against the genuineness of the stone and its inscrip- 
tion. This seems very queer to the Japanese ! 

Prior to the nineteenth century, La Craze and Voltaire 
in France, Bishop Home in England, and others contended 
that it could not be genuine, and they challenged it as " a 
Jesuit forgery." 

Later on in the nineteenth century, Prof. Neumann of 
Munich, Stanislas Julien of Paris, the great Sinologist, who 
translated Hsiian-tsang's Travels, and others, threw doubts 
more or less on the genuineness of the stone ; and in 1853 
Prof. E. E. Salisbury published an article examining the 
opinion he had expressed in October, 1852, at a meeting 
of American Orientalists, "that the so-called Nestorian 


Monument was now generally regarded, by the learned, as a 

Prof. Salisbury insisted that " seeing is believing," and 
that since he had met no one who had seen it in China, nor 
had any of his friends ever met such an one, he was not sure 
whether such a thing did actually exist in the interior of 
China or not! ("On the Genuineness of the so-called 
Nestorian Monument of Singan-fu," pp. 399-419, " The 
Journal of the American Oriental Society," Vol. III.) 

On the other hand, great Sinologists like Alexander 
Wylie and James Legge of England, and M. G. Pauthier 
of France, confirmed its genuineness from various sources. 
Mr. Wylie published a translation of the Inscription at 
Shanghai in 1854. His translation is pronounced to be 
one of the best yet made. He then published in detail 
a series of discussions based on the consensus of Chinese 
authorities and on a great variety of historical and topo- 
graphical notices, besides that of calligraphical notices of 
the Tang era in "The Journal of the American Oriental 
Society," Vol. IV. 

Indeed, we are glad to say that Mr. Wylie made it 
impossible for us ever to doubt its genuineness again ! 

Three years later (1857), M. G. Pauthier, in his famous 
book " Chine," fully acknowledged the value of Mr. Wylie's 
labours and made the very best use of all his materials, but 
he himself went far beyond Mr. Wylie's work, as he eluci- 
dated every point connected with the Inscription with a large 
amount of evidence, both internal and external, omitting, 
however, two very important points regarding the priest 
Ching-ching (^ J=Jf), who composed the Inscription and 
Lii Hsiu-yen (Q ^ j^), the Chinese, who wrote it out for 

In 1888, Dr. Legge published his translation of the 
Inscription together with the lecture which he delivered 
upon it at Oxford. As regards the Chinese text and 


translation, Dr. Legge's work stands very high. Short and 
insufficient as the lecture is, it is very suggestive and 
truly helpful. 

The Monument was originally erected or, to speak more 
When was correctly, unveiled on the 4th of February, 78 1 A.D. 
ortefnaHy Tne Chinese Inscription states that it was : 
setup? "Erected in the second year of the Chien- 

chung period (i.e. 781 A.D.) of the Great T'ang (Dynasty), the 
year-star being in Tso-o, on the seventh day of the first 
month, the day being the Great Yao-sen-wen." 

And these dates are also given in Syriac : 

" In the days of the Father of Fathers, my Lord Hanan- 
Ishu, Catholicus, Patriarch." 

And again : 

u In the year one thousand and ninety-two of the Greeks 
(1092 - 311 = 781) was erected this Stone-Tablet." 

So it is quite clear that the Monument was set up on the 
4th of February, 781 A.D., when Hanan-Ishu was Patriarch 
of the Nestorian (or more correctly the Assyrian) Church. 
But this date does not agree with that of the Patriarchate 
of Hanan-Ishu, who (according to European writers) is 
generally said to have died in yyS a.d. 

How can we account for this apparent discrepancy ? 
Dr. Legge says in his book, "The Nestorian Monument in 
CKina/'p. 29 note : " 

This is an important note of time, and occasions some 
little difficulty. We know from the Bibliotheca Orientalis 
Clementino-Vaticana of J. S. Assemani, that this Hanan- 
Yeshu (same as Hanan-Ishu) was created Patriarch of the 
Nestorians at Bagdad in A.D. 774, and died in A.D. yyS ; 
whereas here is this Monument erected in A.D. 781. But is 
not this discrepancy rather a proof of its genuineness ? The 
news of the Patriarch's death had not reached them at Ch'ang- 
an. In fact, according to Assemani (Vol. III., 1, 347) the canon 
for communication between more distant metropolitan sees 


and the Patriarchate required the interchange of messages 
only once in six years." 

But Dr. Wright (the author of " A Short History of Syriac 
Literature ") says that Hanan-Ishu, the Patriarch, died some- 
time in 779 A.D. instead of 778 A.D., the date given by Dr. 
Legge ; whilst Dr. Budge, the translator of the " Book of 
Governors," says in a foot-note that this pious Patriarch 
Hanan-Ishu succeeded Mar Jacob as Nestorian Patriarch 
in 774 A.D., and died in 780 A.D. 

We think that the death of Hanan-Ishu probably occurred 
sometime in October or November of the year 780 A.D. Our 
ground for this is that as no two authorities agree about the 
date of Hanan-Ishu's death, we are compelled to adopt the 
date nearest to the date of the Inscription. On the other 
hand, we are told by Dr. Wright and others that eight 
months elapsed between the death of Hanan-Ishu and the 
final election of his successor, Mar Timothy. This brings 
the consecration of Mar Timothy down to May, 781 A.D., 
and the Nestorian missionaries in China could not possibly 
know of Hanan-Ishu's death at the end of 780 A.D., when the 
stone was finished and only waiting for the day when it 
should be unveiled. (The unveiling took place on the 4th 
of February, 781 A.D.). 

In the famous "Book of Governors" by Thomas of 
Margha, 840 A.D., this Hanan-Ishu is thus mentioned : 

" And when the pious Hanan-Ishu, this other Catholicus, 
died, and a synod was assembled to appoint a Catholicus, 
the Election to the Patriarchate was ordered and prepared 
for the blessed Mar Isho-yahbh by all Bishops and Metro- 
politans and heads of believers, so that he might become the 
Patriarch," etc. 

But Mar Isho-yahbh was not made Patriarch after all. 
Mar Timothy succeeded Hanan-Ishu in May, 781 A.D. (Dr. 
Wright says, 779 A.D., and Dr. Budge says 780 A.D., as 
we have already mentioned). The " Book of Governors," 


describing " how Timothy obtained possession of the Patri- 
archate by fraud, like Jacob who obtained by fraud the 
blessings of Isaac his father," says : 

" And when Timothy saw the face of every man fixed upon 
our Mar Isho-yahbh, he advised him secretly when they were 
alone together and said to him, Thou art an old man, and 
thou art not able to stand up and meet the attacks of the 
envious, Ephraim of Elam, Joseph the son of Mari, and other 
opponents ; but do thou excuse thyself, and become one 
of my supporters, and I will make thee Metropolitan of 
Adiabene ; and to speak briefly, Timothy was appointed 
Catholicus and Patriarch, and was proclaimed among the 
heads of the fathers " (p. 383, Vol. II.). 

Neither the news of Hanan-Ishu's death nor the result of 
the election had reached Nestorians in China before they 
finished the stone at Ch'ang-an at the end of 780 A.D. 

We think that when they heard the news the Monument 
must have been already finished and set up, ready to be un- 
veiled. And this is why the Inscription has Hanan-Ishu's 
name as Patriarch and Catholicus instead of that of Mar 

So this stone tablet is as old as Charlemagne, and the 
Inscription itself is older by seventy years than the famous 
Syriac " Book of Governors." It is twelve years older than 
the founding of Kyoto, the greatest of Japan's old cities. 

The stone had been standing there in Hsi-an-fu for twenty- 
three years, when our Kobo Daishi and Dengyo Daishi, the 
two greatest monks of Japan, visited China at the beginning 
of the ninth century, when Lli Hsiu-yen (g ^ |||), the 
penman of the Inscription, was the local official in T'ai Chou \ 
( El ^H)» where was situated T'ien-t'ai-shan (^ ^ |J_|)- J 

It is younger only by sixty-nine years than the oldest 
historical book, the Kojiki (^ ^ f2), that our Japan has 
produced. So if we regard this Inscription merely as a 
historical document it will be worth our while to study it. 


How much more so then, if it be the key wherewith to 
unlock some facts which were hitherto hidden from our 
knowledge ! 

" Rome was not built in a day ! " and this unique Nestorian 
Monument was not set up until one hundred and forty-six 
years after the introduction of Assyrian Christianity itself 
into China in 635 A.D. 

Thus the Monument was unveiled on the 4th of February, 
781 A.D., but nothing was known of the existence of such a 
stone either in China or in the West until 1625 a.d. ; and 
this very fact aroused suspicion amongst inquiring minds in 
Europe and America. This was not surprising at all, as they 
could neither see the rubbing nor yet read the original 
Chinese text ! 

We therefore feel our first duty is to clear away all such 
suspicions from our readers' minds, by placing before them 
every possible detail. What the historian, Edward Gibbon, 
wrote a century ago in his celebrated " History of the Decline 
and Fall of the Roman Empire," still holds good in the light 
of the latest discoveries. He said : 

" Unlike the senators of Rome, who assumed with a smile 
the characters of priests and augurs, the mandarins, who affect 
in public the reason of philosophers, are devoted in private to 
every mode of popular superstition. They cherished and they 
confounded the gods of Palestine and of India; but the 
propagation of Christianity awakened the jealousy of the 
state, and after a short vicissitude of favour and persecution, 
the foreign sect expired in ignorance and oblivion. 

"The Christianity of China, between the seventh and 
thirteenth century, is invincibly proved by the consent of 
Chinese, Arabian, Syriac, and Latin evidence. The inscrip- 
tion of Siganfu [Hsi-an-fuJ, which describes the fortunes 
of the Nestorian Church from its first mission a.d. 636, 
to the current year 781, is accused of forgery by La Craze, 
Voltaire, &c, who become the dupes of their own cunning, 


[To face p. 39. 


while they are afraid of a Jesuitical fraud " (Chapter 

The first external evidence is the fact that the overland 
External communication between the capital of China and 

Evidences. tne Graeco-Roman civilized countries around the 
Mediterranean Sea had existed long before the introduction 
of Assyrian Christianity into China proper in 635 A.D. The 
visit of the Nestorian missionary is only one of the many 
results of the political, social, and economical relations which 
had for centuries existed between China and Persia. 

How great the economical activity was along the caravan- 
roads — those wonderful land-bridges between the East and 
West — from China to Byzantium on the one hand and from 
China to Alexandria through Palestine on the other, as well 
as by the sea-routes to Persia and India, is not very difficult 
to ascertain from the historical and philosophical evidences 
left to us. 

According to the " Spring and Autumn " (an historical 
book said to have been compiled by Confucius himself in 
481 B.C.), the arrival of "the white foreigners" (£j ^) 
is mentioned several times. Whether these white people 
came from Persia, or from Parthia, from Bactria, or from 
the plains of Mesopotamia, or from "the lands beyond the 
Great Rivers " — Tigris and Euphrates — we cannot tell. 

But what Ssu-ma Ch'ien (fj] J| Jg) wrote in his "Chroni- 
cles " (^ gg) in 95 B.C. ought to be considered carefully as 
Sinologists have proved its authenticity. According to this 
book, already as early as 214 B.C. the Great Wall was built to 
defend China against the Huns. 

In the year 122 B.C., the Chinese general Chang Ch'ien 
($t !lf ) was sent at the head of an embassy to the " Western 
Regions." Among the names of Western Regions then 
known to China were Ta-ch'in, Tiao-chih, Bactria, Parthia, 
and Persia, besides the name of India, which they sometimes 
used to express Persia and Parthia. 



The Nestorian Inscription says : u A virgin gave birth 
to the Messiah in Ta-ch'in," and we are sure that by " Ta- 
ch'in " is meant Judea. 

But in Chinese books of historical and literary worth, 
Ta-ch'in is mentioned under three different names. 

In the books written before the fifth century A.D. the 
country was called Li-k'an (^^f), whilst in those written 
after the ninth century it was called Fu-lin (^Jj» ^£). 

In order to determine which country was meant by these 
names Sinologists have written many books and pamphlets. 

According to the best authorities, Li-k'an, Ta-ch'in and 
Fu-lin seem to have denoted the Roman Empire in the 
East (Dr. Hirth: "China and the Roman Orient.") 

We cannot deny the fact that during the middle part of 
the Han Dynasty (206 B.c -8 A.D.) the Chinese Empire flung 
its sphere of influence very far and wide towards the 
u Western Regions," beyond the Gobi Desert and to the old 
Babylonian plains. 

The above-mentioned Chinese embassy (that of Chang 
Ch'ien) crossed the Oxus and even visited a city called " AN- 
TU," which has been identified with Antioch by Dr. Hirth, 
while Dr. Shiratori, professor of the Imperial University of 
Tokyo, claims that it was Alexandria. 

This embassy was astonished to find the people in Ta- 
ch'in using silver coins at a time when copper coins were 
in common use in China. They felt it very strange to see the 
Royal image struck on the coins ; and they wrote back to 
China : " These people make coins with silver, and each 
coin bears the Royal image on it. In case the King should 
die, the new coins are made after the image of the new King." 

Already paper was in common use in China as a writing 
material. But in Ta-ch'in they did not yet know the use 
of paper, vellum (skin) being used for writing purposes. So 
the embassy reported to China: "These people write on 


And they also thought the mode of writing very strange, 
and reported : " These people when they write proceed 
from left to right and some from right to left," instead of 
from the top as the Chinese do. 

All these things were witnessed by Chang Ch'ien and his 
party as early as 122 B.C. 

Again, in 94 A.D. the Chronicle says : " General Pan Ch'ao 
($E J®) anc * General Kan Ying ("^ jjj£) and their party visited 
Ta-ch'in by the special orders of the Emperor Wu of the 
later Han Dynasty (^ g| ]j£ ^)." 

It is recorded in the official Chronicle that " in the ninth 
year of the Yen-hsi period [166 A.D.] of the Emperor Huan, the 
King of Ta-ch'in by the name of An-Tun (t£ ^) sent an 
embassy to the court." 

This " An-Tun " has been rightly identified with Marcus 
Aurelius Antoninus, who ruled the Roman Empire from 161 
a.d. to 180 A.D. It is well known that he made war against 
Parthia, the Roman troops being under the command of 
Lucius Verus (162-165 A.D.). This commander, however, 
soon gave himself up to dissipation in Antioch, whilst his 
legates carried on the war with great success, and finally 
conquered Antaxata, and burned Seleucia and Ctesiphon. 
Thus part of Mesopotamia once more came under Roman 
sway as it had been in Hadrian's reign (1 17-138 A.D.). 

The epithets * Parthicus, Armeniacus, and Medicus " 
were given to Marcus Antoninus, and these commemorated 
his brilliant victories over the Parthians. Hence in 166 A.D. 
there was nothing to hinder the Roman Emperor from com- 
municating with China. The Roman sphere of influence in 
the Orient was extended to the territory outside the Great 
Wall of China ; and to her capital Hsi-an-fu an embassy 
was sent, as is written in the Chinese Chronicles. 

And knowing that this important event took place only 
one year before the death of Justin Martyr at Rome and of 
Polycarp at Smyrna, we cannot deny that in the lifetime of 


these Christian martyrs Rome had already come into contact 
with China. And owing solely to the immense distance 
China was fortunate enough not to clash with the Roman 

Again we read in the Chronicle that an embassy from 
Ta-ch'in visited the Chinese Court twice during the third 
century, i,e. between 265 A.D. and 287 A.D. 

This fact agrees with what we read in European history. 
Aurelianus (270-275 A.D.) defeated Zenobia in two battles, 
one at Antioch and another at Edessa. He subdued Syria, 
besieged and destroyed Palmyra and reconquered Egypt. 
Again we read that in 282-283 A.D. the Emperor Carus 
captured Ctesiphon in the course of an expedition to Persia. 

From what is written in the Chinese Chronicles it is most 
natural to conclude that these two Roman Emperors followed 
the examples set by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus about 100 
years earlier. 

It is also written in the Chinese Chronicles that in the 
year 381 A.D. more than 62 countries in "the Western 
Regions " either sent embassies or brought tribute to the 
Chinese Court. 

We do not know which these " 62 countries " were or 
how remotely scattered, but the fact proves that China was 
then opened widely to foreign intercourse ; and that her 
secluded and exclusive existence is of later development. 

In the early centuries not only the Chinese Government, 
but the Chinese people at large were open-hearted and very 
active. For example, 399 A.D. the famous monk, Fa-hsien 
(^ US)' set out on ms travels throughout Buddhist lands. 
He spent six years in reaching Central India, where he spent 
over six years. On his return, he spent three years on the 
journey to Ch'ing-chou (416 A.D.). 

These historical facts suffice to prove the existence of the 
Land-bridge between China and the Roman Orient ; and 
that ancient China had overland communication with 


Mediterranean countries as well as with India. The route 
may have been by way of Khotan and Turkestan, to Northern 
India, Afganistan, etc. It would be very strange if the 
energetic Syrian Christians, full of true missionary zeal, did 
not proceed to China after reaching Persia about the middle 
or end of the second century ! 

"When one recollects that Antioch was the mother- 
Church of Gentile Christianity, the spread of Christianity can 
be illustrated from the standpoint of Syrian trade activity. 

"One of the most remarkable facts in the spread of 
Christianity is the rapid and firm footing which it secured in 
Edessa ... for there is no doubt that even before A.D. 190, 
Christianity had spread vigorously within Edessa and its 
surroundings, and that shortly after 201, or even earlier, the 
Royal House joined the Church, so that Christianity became 
the State religion ; while even during the Easter controversy 
(c. 190 A.D.) 'the churches in Osrhoene and the local towns ' 
(implying that there were several bishoprics — according to 
the Liber Synodalis, there were eighteen) addressed a com- 
munication to Rome. . . . 

" The strong local Judaism in Edessa undoubtedly formed 
a basis for the spread of Christianity both here and still farther 
eastward to the bounds of Persia. 

" It was Edessa and not Antioch— which became the head- 
quarters and missionary centre of national Syrian Christianity 
during the third century, 

"Sozomen (H. E., p. 118) says, ' I think the introduction 
of Christianity among the Persians was due to their intercourse 
with the people of Osrhoene *nd Armenia, in all probability ; 
associating with these godly men they were incited to imitate 
their virtues also.* ..." 

It is natural to suppose (says Dr. Harnack) that after the 
conquest of Syria and sack of Antioch A.D. 260, many 
Christians of the district (together with Bishop Demetrianus 
of Antioch) were deported to Mesopotamia and Persia. 


Bardesanes of Edessa (born 154 ad., died 222 A.D.). 
wrote : " Nor are the Parthian Christians polygamists, nor do 
Christians in India expose their dead to dogs, nor do Persian 
Christians marry their daughters, nor are those in Bactria and 
among the Getai debauched." 

Hence, Christianity must have been already an important 
factor in the life of Persia and the other nations which are 

"... Heresies," says Harnack, " swarmed in Eastern 
Syria and Persia even in the third century." 

The above quotations are from Vol. II., pp. 140-148, of 
What wc read Harnack's "Mission and Expansion of Christianity 

Histoiy C fs C in the FirSt Three Centuries • ,, As ^ result of the 
supported overland communication which so long existed 

philosophical between China and the countries around the 

evidences. Mediterranean, many foreign matters and manners, 

words and thoughts, were introduced into China. 

The foreign elements in the Chinese language, for example, 
are a most stimulating subject for investigation. As yet, 
only a very little has been done, but that little reveals 

According to Dr. Otsuki, a great authority on the 
Japanese language, there are over one hundred and twenty 
Sanscrit words in the daily parlance of the Japanese people. 
The very first word a foreign visitor hears in Japan is 
" Danna," the Sanscrit for the English " Master" or " Lord." 

In A.D. 170-180 the Nirvana Sutra was translated into 
Chinese by a Yueh-chih monk named Chih-i, and an epoch of 
vigorous translation work set in ; so extensively, indeed, that 
the people of Shensi, Pechili, and Shansi at the beginning of 
the fourth century learned Sanscrit — such was their eagerness 
to study the Mahayana Buddhist literature in the original — 
and as a result, the dialect of North China became particularly 

According to Prof. Giles of Cambridge and other great 


[To face p. 45. 


authorities, some words which we Japanese had fully believed 
to be Chinese, because we borrowed them from China about 
twelve hundred years ago, are really Greek, Persian and even 
Hebrew words (p. 134, "China and the Chinese," by Prof. 

For example, "Bu-do" (^|j ^§), a well-known Japanese 
word for the English " grapes," is pronounced " P'u-t'ao " in 
modern Chinese. But this is nothing else than a corrup- 
tion of the Greek fioTpvg. We read in the Chinese 
Chronicles (]£ fg), written by Ssu-ma Ch'ien ( pj jg jg) 
in the 91st year B.C., how grapes were introduced into China 
from Ferghana together with fine horses from Arabia. 

Again, the Japanese word "Sai-kwa" (gg JQJJ for the 
English rt water-melon " is denoted by two Chinese characters 
representing "west-melon" instead of "water-melon." The 
Chinese pronunciation " Hsi-kua " corresponds exactly with 
the sound of the Greek aiKva. 

The Chinese word "Lo-po" (ff^) for "radish" is a 
corruption of the Greek word pa^rj. This word came over 
to Japan in three different Chinese forms (viz. 35$[]iff[> MSfC- 
and ffj^]) with one and the same Japanese reading for 
tltem all— " Daikon," "big root"— but not with the Chinese 
sounds— that is to say, the Chinese characters for pd<f>n were 
introduced into Japan, but not the Chinese pronunciation of 

As for the Greek word irpaaov (" leek "), it came as far 
as the Korean peninsula, but did not cross the Tsushima 
Channel into Japan. 

A kind of incense in common use among all classes in 
Japan is known as "Ansoku-ko" ($£ ^ ^), "Ko" is the 
Japanese for the English word " incense," whilst " Ansoku " 
is the word used in China to represent Parthia. Our 
" Ansoku-ko " is therefore the " Parthian incense." 

Now Parthia was known to the Chinese ever since the 
third century a.d. as " An-hsi" (t£ J| [), or "the Kingdom 


of An-hsi," which was simply a corruption of "ARSAKES," 
the name of the founder of the Arsacide Dynasty, whilst the 
Parthian prince An-shih-kao (^ ^ j^]), Arsakes, is very 
familiar to the Japanese as the translator of Buddhist 
scriptures into Chinese. 

A tree from which in Japan we get wax is called " Hasi " 
or " Hase " (|g). The word " Hase " or " Hasi " is the 
corruption of Po-ssii (^ 3JJJ 1 ), Persi or Persia, in Chinese. 
This indicates that the tree was originally introduced from 
Persia through China and Korea; whilst the best kind of 
falcon in Japan was known as " Hasi-taka," which means 
* Persian hawk." 

The name for pomegranate in China is "the Parthian 
fruit" (t£ Jj, >fg), showing that it was first introduced into 
China from Parthia, whilst the Chinese word "Shih" (Jjjf), 
"lion," is said to be derived from the Persian "shir." The 
Persian word " Yesumband " (j^ 5^ jjr), for the first day of 
the week, was already adopted in the Chinese translation of 
the Indian books on astronomy in the eighth century. 

Even the words "Satan" (§S£ 550 and "Messiah" 
(381 T* §*?) a PP ear In two or three different forms in 
Chinese writings of the T'ang era. But how the Hebrew 
word "Shedek" appeared in Chinese works on astronomy 
as " She-ti-ko " ( j}§ ^ ^) is a mystery which we cannot 
explain. The Japanese word "Maru" (^fa) or "Maro" 
(iSfc S) once usec * as tne honorific masculine in the sense of 
M Master," " Lord," or " Saint," but now chiefly used as the 
name of a ship, e.g. " the Tenyo Maru," can be traced back 
to the Syriac word "Mar," "Maro," or " Mari," meaning 
"Master," "Lord," or "Saint," and for which the Chinese 
character " Mo " (J§g), or " Ma-lo " ()j§fc |$g), was used in 
China instead of " Maro " (JjjpjJ g), which we use in 

If it be true that "where there is smoke there must be 
fire," we may safely conclude that these words suffice to 


prove that there was age-long communication between China 

and the Graeco-Roman countries in the Mediterranean, and 

that what we have called land-bridges prepared the way for 

the coming of the Nestorian missionaries to Hsi-an-fu in the 

seventh century, so that nothing is more natural than the 

existence of Assyrian Christianity in China between the 

seventh and the thirteenth centuries of our era — if not far 

earlier ! 

Another external evidence is found in the Imperial Edict 

_ _ of 845 A.D., which ordered the destruction of the 

Further ^ J % ' 

external Buddhist temples and monasteries saying : 

"As to the monks and nuns who are aliens 
and who teach the religions of foreign countries, we command 
that these — over three thousand — from Ta-ch'in (Nestorians) 
and Muhufu (Mohammedans) return to secular life and cease 
to confuse our national customs and manners," etc. 

Again in the complete works of Li Te-yii (^ ^& |g) ? 
who was Premier to the Emperor Wu-tsung from 841 to 
846 A.D., we find a private letter to the Emperor which was 
written some time after the destruction of the temples and 
monasteries. It was entitled : " Congratulations on the 
complete destruction of all the monasteries." In his letter 
Li Te-yii says " two thousand of Ta-ch'in and Muhufa ceased 
to confuse the national customs and manners." 

These two contemporary writings prove that there 
were at least over two thousand foreign missionaries 
throughout China at that time, including Nestorians and 
Mohammedans, whilst the way in which these two religions 
are mentioned — Ta-ch'in coming at the head of the two 
bodies— indicates also that the Nestorians were the stronger 
body of the two. 

This fact alone is enough to prove — even were there no 
other proof — that it is no matter for surprise that as many 
as seventy names of Nestorian missionaries should be found 
carved on the monument of 781 A.D. 


When this Imperial Edict (which was chiefly aimed at 

What became the Buddhists) was enforced to the letter, the 

of the Nestorian Mission doubtless also received a 


in China? great blow. The native-born Christians of the 
Syriac Church in China, being naturally mixed up with the 
mass of the Chinese population, disappeared. But did they 
disappear so completely as to leave no traces whatever 
behind them ? 

This is the most important question of all in the study 
of the Inscription, and we are glad to announce that we have 
discovered some remnants of the Assyrian Christians in China. 

After the severe blow they received in the ninth century, 
the Chinese Nestorians gradually might become amalgamated 
with the Chinese Mohammedans, and this absorption into the 
Mohammedan body might have been completed in the four- 
teenth century through the great persecution which Timur, 
" the Scourge of Asia," directed against both Nestorians and 

As for the foreign missionaries who survived the Emperor 
Wu-tsung's persecution in the year 845 A.D., some remained 
in China, but most wandered back westward, and reached 
the nearest sees of the Assyrian Church in Western Turkestan. 
The Chinese Christians who did not join the Mohammedan 
body may be found among the " Secret Societies," of which 
about ten are known at the present day, viz. (1) Fa-lu 
Chiao (J5£ gfr tiC), U the teaching of Fa-lu ; (2) T'ai-yang 
Chiao (^J^ ffc), i£ - Sun-teaching, or Sun-religion ; (3) Pai- 
yun Chiao (£j g| ffc), *>. White-cloud religion ; (4) Chao- 
kuang Chiao (1$ % W0> ** Morning-Ltght-worshipping 
Society ; (5) Wu-wei Chiao ($§ ^ fgc), i.e. Non-action 
religion ; (6) Ssu-ch'uan Province Sect (gg J|| ^r) or Chin-tan 
Chiao {$£ f\ j^C), i.e. the Religion of the Pill of Immortality ; 
(7) Pai-lien Chiao (£j g| gf), i.e. White Lily Sect ; (8) Pa- 
kua Chiao (/^ E||* ^), i.e. Eight Diagrams Society ; (9) Tzu- 
mu Chiao (^f -gj: jffc), i.e. Mother and Son Society ; (10) 


Sheng-hsien Chiao (1^ f[Jj f|J£), i.e. Religion of the Sages 
and Worthies. 

Of these ten secret societies, the Chin-tan Chiao 

(& fl* UC)» the " Reli g ion of the PiU of Immortality," is 
decidedly Christian in character, and that it is a relic of the 
Nestorians who set up our Monument we are convinced from 
both internal and external evidence. How the Chin-tan 
Chiao believers represent the Nestorians we shall explain 
hereafter, but that the greater part of the Nestorians, 
after the middle of the ninth century, became gradually 
amalgamated with Chinese Mohammedans, we have the 
following grounds for believing. 

According to the Rev. H. V. Noyes and Mr. Navarra 
(the author of "China und die Chinesen") there are now 
about 20 millions of Mohammedans throughout China proper.* 
In the province of Kansu alone there are over 8 millions ; 
in the province of Shensi about 7 millions ; and in Honan 
2 millions. 

The presence of so many Mohammedans in China at the 
present day cannot be accounted for unless this Nestorian 
amalgamation was completed by the fourteenth century. 

Causes for the amalgamation are not far to seek. Different 
and intolerant as were their creeds, the people themselves 
who embraced the two religions were very much alike both 
in race and language, whilst they were fellow-sufferers for 
their respective faiths. 

And not only so. What actually did take place three hun- 
dred years ago on the part of Queen Elizabeth and the Sultan 
Murad Khan, must have occurred several centuries before 
in China on the part of the Nestorians and Mohammedans, 

* The Rev. A. C. Moule writes : " Broomhall, in his 'Islam in China,' 1910, 
p. 215, has reduced the Moslem population to 10,000,000 at most y and d'Ollone, 
in his ' Recherches sur les MusulmansChinois,' 1911, p. 430, to 4,000,000 or less ; 
the latter being, on the whole, the more ■ expert ' opinion of the two, while both 
are estimates and not the result of a census." 

The general opinion, however, amongst the Japanese experts on the subject 
favours the estimates given here. 


as both of them were equally opposed to the perverted 
doctrine of the Trinity — Father, Mother {i.e. Mary) and Son 
— the false doctrine and gross conception of the Trinity, 
as then taught by certain Christians. Neither Nestorians 
nor Muslims could bear to see the human mother Mary 
worshipped as the Mother of the Ineffable God. 

Prof. Max Muller says in his " Last Essays " (on Moham- 
medanism and Christianity) that "Queen Elizabeth, when 
arranging a treaty with Sultan Murad Khan, stated that 
she was the Defender of the Faith against those who have 
falsely usurped the name of Christ, and that Protestants and 
Mohammedans alike were haters of idolatry. 

" Her ambassador was still more outspoken, for he wrote 
on the 9th of November, 1587: 'Since God alone protects 
His own, He will so punish these idolaters (i.e. the Spaniards) 
through us, that they who survive will be converted by their 
example to worship with us the True God, and you, fighting 
for this glory, will heap up victory and all other good things.' 

" The same sentiments were expressed on the part of the 
Sublime Porte, by Sinan Pasha, who about the same time 
told the Roman ambassador that to be good Mussulmans all 
that was wanting to the English was that they raise a finger 
and pronounced the Eshed, or Confession of Faith. The real 
difference between Islam and Christianity was considered so 
small by the Mohammedans themselves, that at a later time 
we find another Turkish ambassador, Ahmed Rasmi Effendi, 
assuring Frederick the Great that they considered Protestants 
as Mohammedans in disguise " (" Last Essays," pp. 242-243). 

Although there is no evidence for saying that Mohammed 
himself ever was a Christian, his feelings at first were evidently 
more friendly towards the Christians than towards the Jews. 
He declares, " Thou wilt surely find that the strongest in 
enmity against those who believe are the Jews and the 
idolaters, and thou wilt find the nearest in love to those who 
believe to be those who say, ' We are Christians ' ; that is 


because there are amongst them priests and monks, and 
because they are not proud." 

The Nestorian Patriarchs were already basking in the 
favour of the Mohammedan Khaliph at Bagdad at the close of 
the eighth century — Khaliph Harun-al-Rashid of whom we so 
often hear in the famous " Arabian Nights' Entertainments " 
— whilst their missionaries were much helped by the Moham- 
medans all along the caravan-route to China after 635 A.D. 

The Syrian monk A-lo-pen (ffff |j| ;?jc) and his party^ 
followed in the wake of the Mohammedan mission which' 
reached China in 628 A.D. or in 632 A.D. 

According to Dabry de Thiersant, the author of the 
book called " Mahometanisme en Chine " (see pp. 86, 87), 
in the year 628 A.D. a Mohammedan named Wah Abi 
Kobsha had audience with the Emperor T'ai-tsung in Hsi- 
an-fu and was allowed to build a mosque. He returned to 
Arabia in 632 to reinforce that mission. In 742 A.D. there 
were already over five thousand Mohammedans in China. 

In 755 A.D., when the notorious An Lu-shan (tJ£ jjjjjjk \\\) 
rebelled and carried all before him and the throne of the 
T'ang Dynasty was in imminent danger, 4000 Uigurs were 
invited by the Chinese Emperor to serve as Imperial mer- 
cenaries. They fought so well that they finally won the day. 

Although we cannot be sure whether these 4000 Uigurs 
were Mohammedans or Nestorians, we know that they be- 
longed to the mixed tribes who used a Syriac system of writ- 
ing, as appears from the recent discoveries of Sir Aurei Stein 
and the Rev. Z. Tachibana of the Honganji temple of Kyoto. 

These facts show that there were many Mohammedans in * 
China during the eighth and ninth centuries. But twenty-one 
millions, or more, of Mohammedans in China at the beginning 
of the twentieth century is altogether too many to be accounted 
for by their natural and gradual increase in ten centuries. 

We must find some other reason to explain this 

* See the footnote on p. 49. 


extraordinary number of them. Knowing that it was the 
Nestorians who first introduced the Graeco- Roman civilization 
into Arabia ; that, later, both Nestorians and Mohammedans 
in Persia worked together, hand in hand, before either of them 
reached China in the seventh century;* and that even after 
the Saracenic power was established in Persia, the Nestorian 
churches throve under the Khaliphate, we are led to surmise 
that the Nestorians must have been drawn still closer to 
the Mohammedans as a result of the Emperor Wu-tsung's 
persecution in 845 A.D. and the still fiercer persecution of 
Timur in the fourteenth century. 

Both the Emperor Wu-Tsung and Timur equally detested 
the Mohammedans and Nestorians, but Timur persecuted 
the Mohammedans even more severely than the Nestorians. 

After Timur, do we find any Nestorians in China ? No ! 
but what we do find is the enormous number of twenty-one 
millions of Mohammedans. Why should there be so many 
Mohammedans and yet no Nestorians ■? 

This question no one can answer^yery easily. Our theory 
is that the stronger Mohammedan body swallowed up the 
weaker Nestorians. The minority had to conform to the 
majority on account of the external pressure. 

After the death of Yahbh-alaha III., of Uigur origin, who 
was Nestorian Patriarch at Bagdad from 1281 A.D. to 13 17 
A.D., Christian influence gradually declined until all trace of 
it in Chinese history is lost So that unless that immense 
body of Mohammedans now in China is, so to speak, a 

* We read in the letter of the Patriarch Ishu-yabh III. (648-660) that the 
conduct of the Mohammedans was in general kindly toward the Nestorians. 
(Cf. p. xc, note 2, vol. I., "Cathay and the Way Thither.") Again we read 
Gibbon's words, "To his Christian subjects, Mahomet readily granted the 
security of their persons, the freedom of their trade, the property of their goods, 
and the toleration of their worship." (See Chapter L., " The Decline and Fall 
of the Roman Empire.") " During the first age of the conquest, they suspected 
the loyalty of Catholics, whose name of Melchites betrayed their secret attach- 
ment to the Greek emperor, while the Nestorians and Jacobites approved 
themselves the sincere and voluntary friends of the Mahometan government." 
(See Chapter LI.) 


metamorphosis of the Nestorians, who were so influential 
prior to the ninth century, what could have become of 
them ? 

Accordingly, we take the existence of over twenty-one 
millions of Mohammedans in China as one of the external 
evidences which indicate that there must have been a very 
large body of Nestorians when our Monument was set up in 
A.D. 781. 

But_even should this be denied, we can yet find traces 
of the Nestorians among the secret sects of China. 

TIia Chin fan 

Chiao, a " Among the ten secret societies known to us, 

u£5&>> the Chin-tan Chiao (± ft |fc), or "Religion of 
and the the Pill of Immortality," may be identified with 
the ancienjtNestoxian body in China. 

To describe what the Chin-tan Chiao is, we cannot do 
better than quote the well-known missionary, Dr. Timothy 
Richard, who says : 

" The Kin Tan Kiao (>£ ft ^r), the Religion of the 
Pill of Immortality, is perhaps the most widespread and 
powerful of all the secret societies in the North of China, 
and deserves a more extended notice. It is to be found in 
Szechuan, Shensi, Shansi, Honan, Shantung, in the borders 
of Mongolia, and in Manchuria. In the last few years in 
Mongolia most of the disaffected people have been joining it, 
as it is their only hope from the oppression of the Mandarins. 
Although the sect is not political, it is obliged under persecu- 
tion to take joint measures for self-defence. The pity is, 
every powerful combination against the Mandarins is regarded 
by them as rebellion. The Government massacred 15,000 of 
these Kin Tan Kiao believers in 1891 under the false charge 
of being rebels, if we are to credit good men who were living 
in the midst of the troubles. 

"The Taoists talked of having discovered the Pill of 
Immortality some Centuries before the time of Christ, but for 
about a thousand years they only sought for it in minerals, 


herbs and other physical essences as remedies against 
disease and death. 

"But in A.D. 755 was born a man named Lu Yen 
(3 HI)- His other n ames are Tung Pin (flp) jg) and Shun 
Yang-tsze ($i£ ^ ^). His home was in P'uchow-fu 
(^g >J>|»| ffi) in the south of Shansi. Heattajned the degree 
of Doctor of Literature (Chin-shin) (jf£ -J^), and subse- 
quently held office in the province of Kiang-si (££ gg). This 
man was a voluminous writer on religion, and put the search 
for immortality on a moral and spiritual basis, largely using 
the old physical terms of Yin (|3||) and Yang (^), but with 
a new and higher meaning, and so called himself ' Son of the 
Essence of the Universe ' ! He did not profess to have 
discovered this new truth himself, but to have received it, 
transmitted from the first and greatest of the 'Eight Im- 
mortals ' (J\^ f[lj), who lived about seven centuries before 
him. The real name of this one does not seem to be given, 
but the symbolical ones are ' The Warning Bell, which does 
not trust physical force' (gg J£ |g[) ; 'The Quiet Logos' 
(|£*I); c The King of the Sons of God '(£ ^^f);' The 
First Teacher of the True Doctrine of Immortality ' 

(S4Ii). and ' Teacher from Above ' (§1 ^ jjfc £) ; 
and there are other important truths not indicated in these 
names which remind us strongly of Christian truth. 

" The question of supreme importance here is this : Did 
there live at that period any other teacher in the whole world 
who taught such transcendent truths, but one — Jesus of 
Nazareth ? We have not yet heard of any other, and if it 
was transmitted from Western Asia ttten the question is, how 
did Lu Yen (g jg|) get hold of these doctrines ? 

" A little history and geography will help us here. The 
Nestorian missionaries were received by the Chinese Emperor 
in Hsian-fu in A.D. 635, and permitted to settle down and 
teach their religion. The famous general, Kwo Tsze-yih 
($K ~? "SI)' the P rince of Fen-yang (gj gg f£) in Shansi, 


became a believer in the Nestorian religion, and he 
lived A.D. 697-781. From the Nestorian Monument we see 
that the Nestorian missionaries used Chinese philosophical 
terms then current to express Christian truths, just as we 
borrow many religious terms in our days. As the Christian 
religion was patronized in the capital, and by one of the most 
powerful princes of the day, and as this had now gone on for 
more than a century, we have ample time for a number of 
adherents to become thorough followers of Nestorianism in 
this region. Now Lu Yen was brought up in this very centre 
between the capital Hsian-fu and P'ing-yang Fu, so there 
seems to have been ample opportunity for him to get hold 
of these doctrines from the West. 

"This doctrine, whatever its origin may have been, has 
taken a great hold in China. Temples to Shun-yang-tsze, 
i.e. Lu Yen, are all over North and Central China at 
least, and are the places much resorted to for healing by 
faith and prayer and for superhuman guidance ; the doctrine 
is also often associated with the Buddhist Mi-mi'-kiao 
(?§ WO' wmch is extensively known in the north with 
Kuan-yin (||g -^), the Goddess of Mercy, in whose worship 
Mr. Beal has proved the prayers in use are essentially the 
same as the Christians' prayers. (See ' Catena of Buddhist 
Scriptures,' by Rev. S. Beal.) 

"Moreover, the Manchu Dynasty has forbidden the 
image as formerly to be made with a white face. If the 
white face indicates foreign origin then the step is clear. If 
not, it is difficult that the Government should concern itself 
about what otherwise would be of such a trifling importance., 
" Add to this circumstantial evidence that several of the 
leaders of the Kin Tan Kiao, whether they have joined the 
modern Christians or not, have decided that the essential 
doctrines of the Kin Tan Kiao and Christianity are the 

" In the absence then of strong evidence to the contrary, 


there is very strong presumption that much of the teaching 
of this Kin Tan Kiao, like the highest teaching in Buddhism, 
had its origin in Christianity. And if not, we have yet to 
look for the lost Nestorians, and our theory of the irresistible 
power of Christian truth will require some modification. 

"How is it then that we do not find the Christian 
scriptures amongst them ? 

" One easy answer to this lies in the anti-foreign tradition 
of ages that is going on in the Chinese government, arising 
largely no doubt from Confucianism being a national instead 
of a universal religion. Anything that appeals to any power 
above the Emperor is regarded as treasonable, and, therefore 
according to this law, books containing these sentiments or 
those which have anything clearly expressed in terms not 
current amongst other recognized religions of China, have 
been destroyed again and again, times without number, for a 
millennium, and this is going on even now, and their leaders 
are put to death, and their property confiscated. Yet in 
spite of being hunted and hounded for ages they still thrive, 
and new martyrs are ripe and ready in every age to risk 
property, home, and their very lives for the truth they have ! " 
("The China Mission Handbook for 1896," pp. 43-45.) 

To what Dr. Timothy Richard says, we venture to add 
that Lii Yen (g ^), the founder of the Chin-tan Chiao, was 
no other person than Lii Hsiu-yen (Q ^ jj|), the Chinese 
scholar who wrote the Chinese ideographs on the Nestorian 
Stone for Ching-ching (JJ ^), Adam, the author of the 
Inscription ! 

Lii Hsiu-yen, the penman of the Inscription, ever since 
the discovery of the stone in 1623 A.D., has been a mystery 
which has baffled every attempt of the scholars, Chinese and 
foreign, who have tried their hands on the Inscription. 
Strange to say, in spite of its. extraordinarily beautiful 
writing — for even its abnormal form of some Chinese 
characters have always been quoted as the model of good 


handwriting — nothing was ever known about this China- 
man, Lii Hsiu-yen (Q ^ j^). Neither in the field of 
" Stone and Metal " writings, nor in the lists of the Chinese 
officials of the T'ang Dynasty do we find the name of Lii 
Hsiu-yen. This is very strange indeed, since Lii Hsiu-yen 
as a calligrapher, could vie with any of the first-class 
penmen or calligraphers of the time, such as Ch'u Sui-liang 
(IS M£ fk)> Ou-yang Hsiin (gfc g§ ffo), and others. 

Another point we must notice is that Lii Hsiu-yen, the 
writer of the Nestorian Inscription, had the court rank of 
"Chao-i-Lang-ch'ien-hang" (j|Q f|| g[J gfj %f), which corre- 
sponds to " Ts'ung-liu-p'in-hsia " ($£ ^ p& T^)» the Lower 
Sixth Rank, whilst as " T'ai-chou-ssu-shih-ts'an-chun" 
( El *M &] dtl lO? ?) he c annot have enjoyed a higher 
rank than that of the Lower Seventh Rank (^5 -H bb ~F) 
according to the official proceedings preserved in the book 
called "Six Codes, of the Great T'ang " (^ J|f ^ J$L). 
This shows that officially he was of comparatively high rank. 
He was a local official whose duty was to look after ports, 
canals, vehicles, inns and the general industry of the T'ai- 
chou District, Chekiang Province (Kiangnan), standing at 
the foot of Mount T'ien-t'ai (^ ^ |Jj), the great seat of 
the White-lotus-sect of Buddhism, whither our Dengyo Daishi 
went to study in A.D. 804. 

That Lii Hsiu-yen enjoyed comparatively high official 
rank shows that he was a promising young man, who had 
done exceptionally well at his Civil Service examination, and 
also that he must Have been between 19 and 30 years of age 
because to pass the examination at 19 years of age was 
supposed to show uncommon ability, as we learn from the 
famous case of the well-known Han Yii ($$ jg[). 

Such a good calligrapher, which in China always implies 
good scholarship, with such a comparatively high rank, could 
not have been employed as a local official unless he had been 
a young man in his twenties. Moreover, the style and 


character of the writing declare to the experienced eye that 
the writing of the Inscription was not done by an old man. 
And again, T'ai Chou ^=J jty| (now Tai-chou fu 
j\\ t^f) was a department in the eastern portion of 


Chekiang ($f XL JH ?1)' which was itself part of the 
province of Eastern Chiang-nan (££ ^ J& M)> which com " 
prised parts or the whole of the modern provinces of Kiangsu, 
Chekiang, Fukien, etc. Lii Yen is said to have held office at 
P'en-ch'eng J&$< (now Te-hua |jg Jfc in Chiu-chiang in the 
province of Kiangsi) in Western Chiang-nan (££ W ?§ 7$=0 ; 
and so, speaking in a general manner, he and Lii Hsiu-yen 
may both be said to have held office in the province of 

Now compare all these facts with those concerning Lii Yen 
(S Sl)> the ori g inator of the Chin-tan Chiao (fe j$ |fc)» 
who was born on the 29th of May in 755 A.D., the last year 
of the Emperor Hsiian-Tsung (]£ £§*), the Augustan Age 
of the Tang Dynasty. Lii Yen must have been 25 years 
old in the year 781 A.D. (February 4th) when the Nestorian 
Monument was set up, and if he wrote the Inscription (as we 
affirm) it agrees with the expert opinion of famous calli- 
graphers who say that the writing is the work of a young 


If Lii Yen, the founder of the Chin-tan Chiao sect, held his 
office somewhere in the Province of Kiangsi (££ |§), this 
does not disagree with the fact that Lii Hsiu-yen (g 5§? j^c)» 
the writer of the Inscription, was a local official of Tai-chou, 
in the Province of Kiangnan (J£ ^f), in which the Che- 
kiang province once was included. 

If we compare the name Lii Yen (g j^) closely with 
Lii Hsiu-yen (g ^ j&), we find indeed that the middle 
character " hsiu " (Jf ) is missing. But if we bear in mind 
that prior to A.D. 932 most of the books in China were 
written by hand, printing not being in fashion in China, and 
that printed books are exceedingly scarce even in the early 


period of the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.), we can easily 
see how the name of Lii Hsiu-yen (g ^ j^) was left to 
the mercy of transcribers for several hundred years. 

Besides, it is a well-known fact that names are very often 
cut short in Chinese books either to suit the occasion or the 
writers' own purpose. For instance, the name of the famous 
statesman of Chou, Chu Po-yu (j|g f£j 3£) was shortened 
by omitting the middle character, and he was known as 
Chu Yii (jjg 3£). Again that of Su Tzu-tan ($| ^ Jg) 
was shortened by omitting tlie middle character, and was 
known as SuTan(j^ #§), whilst Tung Ch'i-ch'ang^ j^ ||), 
the famous writer of the Ming Era, was frequently known as 
Tung Ch'ang ( j^ ^). This omission of the middle character 
was so common that after many years people could not tell 
which was the right form of the personal names. 

Mr. Ch'ien (gg fc J|Jf ), a great authority on Chinese 
orthography, once said in his book on "Writing" (^ $f $fc) : 
" Strange as it may seem to us, the cutting or dividing as 
well as the omitting of the personal names has been a long- 
established custom since the Han and Wei Eras. This was 
never thought strange." 

From these facts it is no wonder if Lii Hsiu-yen, the full 
name of the writer of the Inscription, should be written 
Lii Yen, the name of the founder of the Chin-tan Chiao ; and 
it is plain that " Lii Yen," whose name is so well known as 
the originator of the Chin-tan Chiao, as a poet, and as a great 
master of calligraphy* besides, was really " Lii Hsiu-yen" 
who wrote the ideographs of the Inscription. 

Anyhow, in the year 781 A.D. there were two names — 
Lii Yen (g j^) and Lii Hsiu-yen (g fjf g|). The former 
is found in the books published several centuries later, whilst 
the latter occurs in the Inscription itself written by that very 
person who lived at that very time. We shall therefore be 

* That he was a poet and a great master of calligraphy may clearly be seen 
from his biography by the four authors we mention here as well as from any 
good Dictionary of the Chinese Cursive Style ($L ^ H). 



justified in correcting the book-name by that which is pre- 
served on the " Speaking Stone," if our theory prove true. 

Moreover, we may refer to four writers on the life of 
Lii Yen (g g|). (i) Hsin Wen-fang (^ ^ J§), a China- 
man of Uigur extraction who lived between 1276 A.D. and 
1 367 A.D., and wrote a book called " The Biography of the 
Illustrious Men and Women of the Tang Era" (^ yj* -^ ^), 
in which he dealt at length with Lii Yen. (2) In the year 
1 571 A.D., Wang Shih-chen (J -Jjh J|) again treated the life 
of Lii Yen in a book called " The Biographical History of the 
Chinese Sages and Hermits " (^Ij ^\ ^ $f), whilst in 
1579 A - D - (3) Ll *ng Chih-che (3g| $| ^2f) gave a short but 
most authentic sketch of the life of Lu Yen in a book called 
" The Authentic Biography of the Personal Names of China " 
(Hift'^if)- (4) The last, but not the least, of all, 
Liu T'i-shu (g|j |jg Jjjg), in the year 1742 A.D., edited what 
is now commonly called "The Complete Works of Lii 
Yen " (S jSJL I^T ||)> the Founder of the Chin-tan Chiao 

All these writers with the exception of Hsin Wen-fang 
agree in saying that Lii Yen, the founder of the sect, 
was known by the nickname of " Hui-Tao-Chdn-Jen " 

(U it * A)- or " Hui-Tao-Chen-Shih" (||| $£ jfc ±)> 

which means "The True Man of Islam." * 

But, if he were really a Mohammedan, why should he be 
so nicknamed? and if he was a true Mohammedan, what 
reason had he for founding the Chin-tan Chiao ? The fact that 
he had originated the Chin-tan Chiao shows that he was not 
" The True Man of Islam," as recorded to have been by the 
writers of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries — writers 
who were born at a time when the name of the " Luminous 
Religion " {i.e. Nestorianism in China) was entirely forgotten 
and only the name of Islam remained. 

* To many it will seem that this is obviously a Taoist appellation, meaning 
" The Pure Man who has reverted to Tao." 


Besides these external evidences, we have some internal 
ones to prove that Lii Yen, the founder of the Chin-tan Chiao, 
was Lii Hsiu-yen, the Penman of the Nestorian Inscription, 
and that the Chin- tan Chiao is the present form of the old 
Nestorian Church in China. 

Our evidences are all taken from the " Complete Works 
of Lii Yen " spoken of above. In the second volume of 
the book, which is devoted to " The Miracles of Master Lii 
Yen," we read how he changed the water into wine so that 
he might give a good drink to his disciples, and how a dead 
fish was revived by his touch. We read also how he healed 
the sick and the wounded ; how a poor man suffering from 
paralysis was cured by him, and how the blind recovered 
sight by his touch. 

Whence came all these stories ? Are they mere coinci- 
dences ? If we read the liturgical part of the book, we are 
compelled to doubt this, for there we find a fragment of the 
Chin-tan Chiao Liturgy which resembles the Nestorian 
Liturgy found by Prof. Paul Pelliot at Sha-chou in 1908 ; 
whilst the Chin-tan Chiao has Diptychs like those of the 
Syrian Church. 

We may feel pretty sure that it was the descendants of 
the Chinese Nestorians who were so pitilessly massacred by 
the Chinese soldiery in 1891. Those 15,000 Chinese Chin- 
tan Chiao believers who were massacred were unknown 
brethren of the poor Armenian Christians who were cruelly 
massacred about the same time in the Nearer East. 

Suppose, for a moment, that the foreign elements in the 
The Persian Chinese language as well as those found in the 
in S the e Anna e i8 old nistorical writings of China were insufficient 
of old Japan, to establish the fact of overland communication 
between China and the classical countries on the Mediter- 
ranean, we have knowledge of the visit of Persians to Japan, 
who came by way of Hsi-an-fu, the capital of China. In 
the Ancient Chronicle of Japan we find that "in the year 


736 A.D., in. the seventh month, an Imperial audience was 
granted to the Japanese embassy who returned from T'ang 
{i.e. China) together with three Chinese and one Persian." 

Again, "In the eleventh month, the Emperor granted 
Court favours to those who recently returned from T'ang ; 
Naka-tomi-no-asomi (tjl g* ][$} g? ), the Envoy to the 
Chinese Court, was promoted two ranks from the lower fifth 
grade of Court-rank to the lower fourth of the same, whilst 
the two Chinamen — Huang P'u (j|i ffi) and T'ang Chang 
(Jff §J|) as well as the Persian called "Li-mi-i (^ £g |§f) 
and others were respectively granted Imperial favours." (See 
the " Imperial Chronicles of Japan " written in 797 A.D.) 

Who and what was this Persian stranger named Li-mi-i 
(?}£ $5 |§f) nobody knows. That the name should be 
41 Milis, the physician," is our humble surmise. In the first 
place " i " (§f) in the name, stands for " medicine." No 
easier or more natural mistake would be made by a Chinese 
or Japanese in transcribing u i$& 2j£ " (Mili) than to make it 
" ^ ^J " (Li-mi), for the latter is the regular form of a 
Chinese personal name, whilst the former is not. So, left to 
his own discretion, the scribe might either carelessly, or 
tentatively, transpose the Chinese characters "§5?J5" for 
" Mili " into M Li-mi " (2J£ ^jjft), which would not be unnatural 
seeing that in Chinese there are very many "Li-mi" just 
as there are many " Milis " in Persian. 

u Li-mi " must have been well off and enjoyed high rank 
in the Chinese capital to be so well received on coming to 
Japan. Who knows whether this Persian " Li-mi " (Mili), the 
physician, who visited Nara, the capital of Japan, in 736 A.D. 
was not the Priest of M Royal Balkh," and father of Yesbuzid, 
the Chorepiscopos, who erected the renowned Nestorian 
Stone in 781 A.D. somewhere in the neighbourhood of 
Ch*ang-an ? 

Moreover, two pieces of incense-wood are exhibited at the 
Imperial Museum, Uyeno, Tokyo. Their history may be 



- x 





t la 




7 l 


a § 


[To face $. 63. 


older than the eighth century, for we can trace them as far 
back as 781 A.D. An official document of Japan says that 
"on the third of the second moon, 781 A.D., the weight of 
these two pieces of Incense wood was examined by the 
Imperial Order and an account thereof kept." 

This incense-wood, therefore, is at least as old as the 
Nestorian Monument ! And, strange to say, both pieces are 
inscribed with a mysterious writing, which was long thought 
to be either Korean or some mystical script ; but Prof. A. H. 
Sayce and Dr. Cowley of Oxford now pronounce it to be in 
a form of the Syriac alphabet. 

That the "honey-suckle" design found in Japanese 
art of the Nara period (687-78$ A.D.) is derived from Greek, 
or more particularly Syro-Byzantine art, has been pointed 
out by Dr. Ito, Professor of Architecture in the Imperial 
University of Tokyo, to whom we are indebted for the 
valuable information to prove this point. 

Again, the Adoration of the Magi is a favourite scene in 
Early Christian art ; the Magi are represented in Persian 
costume with tight hose and " Phrygian caps," which are 
pointed caps with their apex turned toward the front. 

But " Phrygian caps " are seen in frescoes of the seventh 
and eighth centuries discovered recently by Sir Aurel Stein, 
as well as by the Rev. Z. Tachibana in Central Asia, whilst 
common pictures we see in Japan show that a Japanese 
farmer of the eighth century had a " Phrygian cap " on. 

" Even the buckle, with the help of which the pre-historic 
Greek fastened his cloak," says Prof. Sayce, " has been shown 
by a German scholar to imply an arrangement of the dress 
such as we see represented on the Hittites' monument of 
Ibreez" ("The Hittites," p. 120, by Prof. A. H. Sayce). 

Strange to say, this buckle is also one of the conspicuous 
features of Buddhistic Art in the Middle Ages to be seen in 
the costumes of Buddhistic statues introduced into Japan 
from China prior to the eighth century A.D. The twelve 


statues of Uzumasa, Kyoto, are very good examples which 
illustrate this fact. Indeed, the buckle supplies us with a 
clue whereby to decide the age in which an image was made. 
To speak more plainly, the buckle is not found in Buddhist 
art later than the ninth century. This fact clearly shows 
that the buckle is a foreign object which came to Japan from 
China before it came for the second time by way of the Cape 
of Good Hope in the sixteenth century. 

Again, what Prof. Sayce says about the famous lions of 
Mykenae may well be quoted here to prove that the Land- 
bridge had existed long before between Korea, China, and 
the countries of the Mediterranean. He says : 

"Perhaps, however, the most striking illustration of the 
Westward migration of Hittite influence, is to be found in 
the famous lions which stand fronting each other, carved 
on stone, above the great gate of the ancient Peloponnesian 
city. The lions of Mykenae have long been known as the 
oldest piece of sculpture in Europe, but the art which 
inspired it was of Hittite origin. A similar bas-relief has 
been discovered at Kumbet, in Phrygia, in the near vicinity 
of Hittite monuments ; and we have just seen that the 
heraldic position in which lions are represented was a 
peculiar feature of Hittite art" (" The Hittites," p. 120). 

The lion itself was never found in the insular Empire of 
Japan, nor did it exist in the Korean Peninsula, not to speak 
of China ; and yet " the lions which stand fronting each other, 
carved on stone " are the guardians to be seen everywhere at 
the entrance of a shrine in Japan. The old Japanese name 
for them is " Korean Dogs " ; and these Korean Dogs guard 
in the Throne in the Ancient Imperial Palace of Kyoto. But 
in Korea these " Korean Dogs " are known as " Chinese 
Lions," whilst in China itself they are called " Persian Lions." 

These and other facts prove that overland communication 
did exist between Syria and China sufficiently to permit of the 
coming of the Nestorian missionaries to China in 635 A.D., and 


it is no wonder that they brought their incense-wood to 
Japan within a century after their arrival at the capital of 

According to the book lately published by the great 
Prof. Paul Chinese authority, the late Prof. Lo Chen-yu 

dlscov'^ at (H !S X)' of the Peki "g University, Prof. Pelliot 
the Tun- in A.D. 1908 discovered over eleven different kinds 
h Willi 
Library. of old books and fragments of ancient documents 

at the Tun-huang Stone Cave, i.e. Library (^ j)|| ^J |||), 

Sha-chou (^ ^|»|), an historic old town in the Oasis, about 

one hundred miles off the present main caravan road from 

the Western Regions whose terminus is Hsi-an-fu, the ancient 

capital of China. 

Besides several fragments of Buddhist scriptures, there 
were a few Mohammedan and Manichean writings. Above 
all, some Nestorian writings in Chinese were discovered, 
of which, most fortunately, two pieces are almost complete. 
One, entitled " Ching chiao San - wei - m£ng - tu Tsan " 
(JltfcHgfcH^lt), is "The Nestorian Baptismal 
Hymn to the Trinity"; the other called " Tsun-ching," 
i.e. literally, " Praise-sutra " (^T $££), may well be named 
" The Nestorian Book of Praise, dedicated to the Living 
and the Dead." In other words, this " Tsun-ching " of the 
Chinese Nestorians exactly corresponds to the Nestorian 
Diptychs, i.e. " The Memento," or list of living benefactors, as 
well as of the dead who were commemorated in the Divine 
Liturgy, and whose names were inscribed on the two-leaved 
ivory tablets. 

The Nestorian Diptychs are well preserved in the Wei- 
p'ai, I-hai in Japanese ({& #£), or Ling-p 4 ai, Rei-hai in 
Japanese (JjJ f$£), of Japanese Buddhism, which give the 
date of death and the soul-name of the departed (Hotoke 
or Mitama). They were unknown in the old Hinayana 
Buddhism of India. 

The following translation of the Hymn and the Diptychs 


will enable the student to judge for himself as to the value of 
Prof. Pelliot's discovery in 1908.* 

(I) "Nestorian Baptismal Hymn in Adoration of the 
" All the angels in the highest profoundly adore Thee ! 

The whole earth rejoices in universal peace and good-will. 

In the beginning Man received the true Divine nature 

From the Three Powers (Heaven, Earth, and Man). 

All the Saints adore Thee, Most Merciful God, Our Father ! 

All the Enlightened praise Thee ! 

All who seek Truth take refuge in Thee. 

Looking up we receive The gracious light 

And are freed from evil spirits that we may seek the lost. 

Oh, true Eternal and Merciful Father ! 

O Glorious Son ! 

O Pure Spirit ! 

Triune God ! 

Thou rulest over all the Kings of earth. 

Thou art the Spiritual Emperor among all World-honoured 

Dwelling in Divine light of boundless effulgence. 

Visible only (to the Saints), 

For no mortal eyes have seen Thee, 

Nor can any one describe Thy glorious Form, 

For Thy holiness is beyond description. 

Thy Divine Majesty is matchless, 

Only Thou art changeless. 

Thou art the Root of all goodness, 

And Thy goodness is boundless. 

Now when I consider all Thy grace and goodness 
Which gladdens this country with the music (of the Gospel), 

* The translation of this Hymn and that of the Nestorian Diptychs given on 
page 67, as well as the identification of the names, etc., are the Author's own 
and he himself is alone responsible. 


O Messiah ! Thou greatest and holiest of Beings, 

Who savest innumerable souls from the sorrows of life. 

O Eternal King ! 

O merciful Lamb of God ! 

Who greatly pitieth all suffering ones, 

Who dreadesf no Cross. 

We pray Thee remove the heavy sins of men ; 

Let them recover their true original nature ; 

Let them attain the perfection of the Son of God 

Who stands on the right hand of the Father, 

And whose Throne is above that of the greatest Prophets. 

We pray Thee that all who are on the Salvation Raft may 
be saved from fire ! 

Great Pilot, Thou art our Merciful Father, 

The great Prophet of our Holy Lord, 

Our great King, 

Who art able to save all who have gone astray 

By Thy wisdom. 

Steadfastly we lift our eyes to Thee ! 

Revive us by Celestial favours (ashes, fertilizers, and 
1 Sweet dew ') 

And nourish our root of goodness. 

O Thou most merciful and most holy Messiah ! 

Pity us, O Father, whose mercy is like the Ocean. 

O Most Merciful and Meek Son (Holy One) 

And Pure (Holy) Spirit who is embodied in our Lord 

Beyond all thought" 

(II) " The Nestorian Diptychs." 

"We praise Thee, Aloha, God-Father and Mysterious 
One ; and we praise Thee, Messiah, the God -Son of the 
Father ; and Lu-ho-ning-chu-sha (*.*. the Syriac ' Ruha-de- 
kudsa,' the Holy Spirit), the Spirit that beareth witness. 
" These Three Persons are One. 

(Let us pray also for the memorial of) 


Catholicos John (Jj| ^ Jfg fe =£) 

Catholicos Luke (jj $ff\ ^ J) 

Catholicos Mar George (J$ £g g$ ££ J),* 

Catholicos Matthew (^ ^ ^ 3£). 

Catholicos Moses (^ -^ %fc J), 

Catholicos Mahadad (^ ^ ^ 3£), 

Catholicos Mar Sergius ( jp; j|§ ^ j£), 

Catholicos Paul (g ^ftB 

Catholicos " Thousand-eyed " (=f- flj| $£ £), 

Catholicos Na-ning-i (jig %$&& £), 

Catholicos Simeon (Jg fg }g J), 

Catholicos Mar Sergius ($ j£ $ Jg ^ £), 

Catholicos George (g ft] ^ Jg ^ £), 

Catholicos Mar Buchus (Jg? ;g£ ^ Jg $£ 3£), 

Catholicos Ts'en-wSn (Simeon?) (^ $jg fl| ££ 3£), 

Catholicos "Twenty-four saints" (fr §j| ?£ 3£), 

Catholicos Kennaya (§£ |£ JflJ }£ £), " 

Catholicos Hosea (£ |g J|J £fe £), 

Catholicos Messiah ($$ & % ££ 3E)» 

Catholicos Silas (§£ || ££ £), 

Catholicos Gur (fg ]g ?£ BE), 

Catholicos Pao-hsin (Reward of Faith) (^ >fff Jg J). 

(Let us pray also for the Memorial of those who wrote 
the books called) : 

The eternal-enlightenment-kingly-pleasure-sutra (The 
Lamp of the Sanctuary, etc.) ($£ ^ £| ^ fg), 

The explaining-origin-reaching-the-cause-sutra (De causa 
omnium causarum) (|e^ 7G jS ^ laD' 

The-aiming-at-the-origin-happy-pleasure-sutra (The Book 

* Some will perhaps prefer Prof. Pelliot's suggestion of Mark (Mo-chii-ssii) 
in place of Mar George, and David (To-hui) in place of Mahadad, and to render 
Fa-wang in every case by Saint rather than by Catholicos. Cf. Bulletin de V Ecol; 
Francaise d> Extreme- Orient ^ 1908, p. 519. 


The Heavenly-treasure-sutra (The Book of Treasures) 

0i ft m W> 

The Mahadad-sutra (The Book by Catholicos Mahadad) 

<=£ % m 1 is), 

The A-ssu-chu-li-yung-sutra (Athulita) (a6\rrrt]g t a Book 
of Martyrs ?) (|Bf Jg || * Ij <gt fg), 

On the causes of the Universe (pjE j£ Jg). 

The thoroughly-understanding-the-truth-sutra (Refutation 
of heretical opinions ?) (y§ jit jig), 

The treasure-enlightenment-sutra (On the reason of the 
principal facts of the Church) (g tfft jgg), 

The Transmission-and-conversion-sutra (On Conversion) 

(W ft f£). 

The Book of Charity (|| ^ jg), 

The Original-Soul-sutra (A treatise on the soul) (JjgJ J|| jg) f 
The explained-briefly-sutra (The Book of Definition or 
Catechism) ®$ && jg) , 

The Three-spheres sutra (On Genus, Species and Individu- 


The Signs-marks-sutra (fjj( §§ jg) (Khuthama, i>. Con- 
clusion or sealing), 

Hanan-Ishu Sutra (The Book by Catholicos Hanan-Ishu, 
orTheLifeofHanan-Ishu, the Catholicos) (|^ Jg jg), 

The explained-meaning-sutra (A Solution of Various 
Difficult Questions) (J[ |j| Jg), 

Shih-li-hai Sutra (The Syriac * Shlikha " means "Apostle," 
so this must be Apostles' Creed) ($$ f (J #| jg), 

Catholicos Paul Sutra (The Book by Catholicos Paul) 

m » m i ft), 

Zacharia-sutra (The Book by Catholicos Zacharia) 


George-sutra (The Book by Catholicos George) 

m m n & &). 

Ning-yeh-tun-sutra (A-nidha, i.e. a departed Christian ; 
The Book of Burial Service ?) {% Jffl )g jg), 


I-ts£-lii-sutra (" Kash-kul," "containing all Book," i.e. 
Ceremony and Rule Book) (^ £lj ^ $£), 

P'i-e-ch'i-sutra (B& & Jgf $£), 

The Nestorian Baptismal Hymn on the Trinity (San- 
emad-praise-sutra) * San M is the Chinese for " three," whilst 
"emad" is the Syriac for "baptism," whilst " praise-sutra " 
stands for the word " hymn." So literally this means " the 
Three-baptismal-hymn " ££ Jg£ §f£ Jg£),* 

Catholicos Moses-sutra (The Book by Catholicos Moses) 

(# lit m £ «). 


Ephraim-sutra (^ #& tt ffi). 
Catholicos Pao-hsin Sutra (^ f|f jg J f£), 
The Messiah, the Great independent Sovereign of the 
Universe — sutra (On the Incarnation of the Messiah, the great 
Lord of the Universe) (3g M M S # 5C % JR). 
The Four-gates-sutra (0} f^ |g), 
The Revelation (The revealed-truth-sutra) (^p j|| jgg), 
The Mar Sergius Sutra (The Book by Mar Sergius) 

The Tz'u-li-po Sutra (" Tsuriha " stands for the ° Cross " 
in Syriac, so this may be rendered " On the Doctrine of the 

c^s") mm mm)> 

The Wu-sha-na-sutra (£ & £|$ jg) .» 

Fragmentary as these are, they are quite enough to con- 
vince any one of the fact that there was a strong body of 
Nestorians in China prior to the fourteenth century. 

They had the Apostles' Creed in Chinese. They had a 
most beautiful baptismal hymn in Chinese. They had a 
book on the Incarnation of the Messiah. They had a book 
on the Doctrine of the Cross. In a word, they had all 
literature necessary for a living Church. Their ancestors 

* It is fair to add that Prof. Pelliot himself renders the full title " Eloge des 
trois Majestes de la Religion Brillante du Ta-ts'in, par lesquelies on obtient le 


in the eighth century were powerful enough to erect a 
monument in the vicinity of Hsi-an-fu. 

Who knows whether there were not many other scriptures 
besides these thirty-five books? Such as they are, these 
fragments agree with what we read in the Nestorian 
Inscription : " The Scriptures were translated in the Imperial 

This discovery by Prof. Pelliot at Sha-chou (^ j\\) 
in 1908 may be counted as strong evidence in favour of the 
genuineness of the stone against those who hold the erroneous 
idea of "the Jesuitical fabrication" of the Nestorian 

The external or circumstantial evidences would be 
Internal worthless unless supported by internal evidences. 

Evidences. How far we may trust the externa i evidence 

greatly depends on the value of the internal evidence 
we can produce on the subject. But both internal and 
external evidence are alike useless to those extremely 
sceptical minds who decline to see anything if it militates 
against their own preconceived ideas. But to honest, sensible 
and independent thinkers the following evidences will 
certainly be convincing. 

The first thing to note is an article contributed by Dr. 
Junjiro Takakusu, Professor of Sanskrit and Pali in the 
Imperial University of Tokyo, to " The T'oung Pao " ( jj§ ^|) 
in 1896. What he wrote about King-tsing (i.e. Ching-chirlg) 
( jft lffi)> Adam, the Persian priest who composed the 
Nestorian Inscription, is extremely interesting and very 
useful. He says : 

" Now the same Adam (King-tsing), who composed the In- 
scription, is mentioned again in a Buddhist book, which 
in a way gives light on the activity of the Nestorian 
missionaries in China. While I was referring to the Buddhist 
canonical books of China the other day, I came across a 
book called the Cheng-yuan hsin-ting Shih-chiao Mu-lu 


(M it ff £ M ffc H He), i-e- 'The New Catalogue of 
(the books of) teaching of Shakya in the period of Cheng- 
yuan* (A.D. 785-804), compiled by Yiian-chao (gj fjft), a priest 
of the Hsi-ming Monastery ([Jf| fJJJ ^Jf). For this book see 
Bodleian Library, Japanese, 6500, Vol. VII, fol. 5vo. In this 
I found a passage relating to the Nestorian missionary 
which I translate as follows : 

"'Prajna, a Buddhist of Kapisa, N. India, travelled 
through Central India, Ceylon, and the Islands of the 
Southern Sea (Sumatra, Java, etc.) and came to China, for 
he had heard that Manjusri was in China. 

" * He arrived at Canton and came to the upper province 
(North) in A.D. 782. He translated together with King-tsing 
(JPl ^?)» Adam, a Persian priest of the monastery of Ta- 
ts'in (Syria), the Satparamita-sutra from a Hu (jjJJ) text,* 
and finished translating seven volumes. 

" ' But because at that time Prajna was not familiar with 
the Hu language nor understood the Chinese language, and 
as King-tsing (Adam) did not know the Brahman language 
(Sanskrit), nor was versed in the teaching of Shakya, so, 
though they pretended to be translating the text, yet they 
could not, in reality, obtain a half of its gem (i.e. real 
meaning). They were seeking vainglory, privately and 
wrongly trying their luck. 

" ' They presented a memorial (to the Emperor) expecting 
to get it propagated. 

" 'The Emperor (Te-tsung, A.D. 780-804), who was 
intelligent, wise and accomplished, who revered the canon of 
the Shakya, examined what they had translated, and 
found that the principles contained in it were obscure and 
the wording was diffuse. 

" ■ Moreover, the Sangharama (monastery) of the Shakya 

* The Hu text here mentioned must be the Uigur text into which the 
Sanskrit text had been translated. The Rev. Tachibana's discovery confirms 
this view. 



and the monastery of Ta-ts'in (Syria) differing much in 
their customs, and their religious practices being entirely 
opposed to each other, King-tsing (Adam) handed down the 
teaching of Mi-shi-ho (Messiah) ($$ J=* |tj), while the 
Shakyaputriya-Sramans propagated the Sutras of the 
Buddha. It is to be wished that the boundaries of the 
doctrines may be kept distinct, and their followers may not 
intermingle. Orthodoxy and heterodoxy are different 
things, just as the rivers King and Wei have a different course.' 

" So much for the extract from the book of Yuen-chau. 
As to the identity of Adam with King-tsing there is no doubt 
whatever, as the parallel texts of the Inscription clearly show. 

" It is very interesting to have this little contemporary 
notice of the Nestorians from a Buddhist source. 

"Christianity in China, in the seventh and thirteenth 
centuries, as Gibbon remarks in his famous history, is 
invincibly proved by the consent of Chinese, Arabian, 
Syriac, and Latin evidences. In addition to these we have 
now a reference made by an eye-witness in a Buddhist 
work. It was under the Emperor Te-tsung (A.D. 780-804) 
that King-tsing (Adam) had erected the Monument ; under 
the same Emperor, he was recorded to have been trans- 
lating a Buddhist Sutra. 

" I have some doubt as to whether the translation took 
place before the erection of the Monument* or after it, 
though from what we read in the above extract, the transla- 
tion seems to have been made after the Inscription. Prajna 
came to the upper province in a.d. 782, while the Monument 
was erected in A.D. 781. But the year in which they were 
translating the Buddhist book ?3 not given. 

" Their united work however seems to have been stopped 
by an Edict, no doubt as a result of the jealousy of the 

* The Monument was erected by Yesbuzid, Chorepiscopos of Kumdan. 
Adam, whose Chinese name was King-tsing (or Ching-ching) (#j#), composed 
the Inscription. 


Buddhist priests. Te-tsung, the ruling Emperor, was claimed 
as a patron by both Buddhists and Nestorians, and was 
praised by both parties. It might have been so, as such has 
often been the case in China as well as in India. If we 
compare the statements of both parties we can easily under- 
stand the Emperor's attitude toward the Religions of his time. 
"Adam, on his part, seems to have adopted many 
Buddhist terms in expressing himself. In the Inscription we 
find a number of Buddhistic expressions. He used the 
Buddhistic words or ideas for ' Monastery,' ■ Priest/ etc., as 
Dr. Edkins has already remarked. This fact can now be 
explained as the result of King-tsing's study of Buddhism, 
for we have the evidence that he was engaged in translating 
Buddhist works. 

" It was most natural for him to be anxious to get a 
knowledge of Buddhism in order to learn the right religious 
terms for expressing himself to the people. 

" As to the characters representing ■ Messiah ' they are 
exactly the same as in the Inscription. 

" We should like to know what has become of the book 
which Adam was translating. That sutra is indeed preserved 
in the Buddhist canonical books, but it is ascribed entirely to 
his colleague Prajna (see No. 1004 'Nanjio Catalogue of 
the Chinese Tripitaka '). 

"Whether or not the translation is the same as 
that which was made by both together we cannot 

Short as it is, what Dr. Takakusu discovered in a 
Buddhist sutra is sufficiently conclusive against those who 
hold erroneous opinions about our Monument. 

We know for certain that Ching-ching (Adam), who 
composed the Inscription, as well as Lu Hsiu-yen, who 
wrote the Chinese characters for Adam, were real, historical 
personages. As for Ching-ching's rival or colleague, Prajna. 
it is perfectly well known amongst us Japanese that he was 


the very same "Kashmir" monk whom our Kobo-Daishi 

met in China during his stay in Hsi-an-fu and under whom 

he studied Sanskrit between A.D. 804-806. 

Those who have observed the seventy-five or more names 

Seventy-five in the Inscription, as well as on two sides of the 

Names on __ r #•,.«, , , 

the Stone. Monument, cannot fail to be impressed by its 


If we compare the Chinese characters used in representing 
the Syriac names in the Diptychs discovered by Prof. 
Pelliot in 1908 with those used on the Monument to denote 
the same names, we immediately note a marked difference 
between, the writings in the point of age. We cannot but 
see that the Nestorian Stone belongs to the T'ang Era 
(618-907 A.D.), whilst the newly-discovered Diptychs are of 
a later Era — not earlier, in our opinion, than the fourteenth 
century. For instance : only the names " Aloha " (|&J jj|| § j|), 
"Messiah" ($jjj jjfa fpf), "Matthew" (^ f^), use a com- 
mon system of phonetic representations. 

By comparing the following characters any observant eye 
will at once perceive that the one is far more classical than 
the other. 

(Names in the Diptychs) (The names identified) (Names on the Stone) 

(M. HH) Lu-chia .... Luke . . (^!j ^) Li-chien 

(58 $&) Pa °- lu p aul • • • (%1) Pao-ling 

CiC $1 ^ Jg) I-ho-chi-ssu George . . (5ffl ^) Ho-chi 

(a! ffl $0 E-fu-lin . . . Ephraim . ($} $;) Fu-lin 

We think that those mentioned in the Diptychs as the 
Catholicos Matthew and the Catholicos Mar Sergius are not 
the same Matthew and the same Mar Sergius whose names 
occur in ' the Inscription, although the Chinese characters 
denoting them are the same. 

Again Bishop Chi-lieh (Jfc ? % l\)> who is mentioned in the 


Inscription and possibly to be identified with Bishop Cyriacus, 
is also found in the contemporary Chinese annals. 

" In 732 A.D., the King of Persia sent a chief named P'an- 
na-mi ($| fft $?) together with the Bishop Chi-lieh Qfc f}\) ; 
and this Bishop Chi-lieh was decorated with Imperial 

Then, again, we find the name " Fu-lin " ($[} $C) 
amongst the priests whose name "Ephraim" is given in 

Now, most curiously, this gives the clue to the Secret 
which many great Sinologists have so far failed to unravel — 
we mean the so-called " Fu-lin Mystery." 

It is a well-known fact that in the Chinese histories and 
books of travel we often meet with "The Kingdom of Fu-lin " 
as an alternative name for " Ta-t'sin." In fact, the Kingdom 
of Ta-ch'in was first known as " Li-kan," then as " Ta-ch'in," 
and then again as " Fu-lin." 

Concerning the so-called " Fu-lin Mystery " the opinions 
of three Sinologists may be briefly cited. 

The first is " The Fulin-Polin theory " which, started by 
M. Jaquet, was strongly backed by Sir Henry Yule and M. 
Pauthier, and quite recently has found a great supporter in 
M. Chavannes (in the T'oung pao, May, 1908). They all 
agree in saying that the Chinese "Fu-lin" must be the 
corruption of the Greek word " Polin " (the City), by which 
Constantinople was meant, for, because of its splendid 
position and beautiful surroundings, Constantinople was 
spoken of as " The City " par excellence. 

The second is "The Fulin-Bethlehem-theory," which 
Prof. Hirth started in his famous book "China and the 
Roman Orient." He says: "The old sound of the name 
Fu-lin may, therefore, be safely assumed to have been 
But-lim or But-lam. My interpretation of these words leads 
to the conclusion that the ancient country of Ta-ts'in called 
Fulin during the Middle Ages, was not the Roman Empire 


with Rome as capital, but merely its Oriental part, viz. 
Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor." 

And then he explains how Fu4in came to be mixed up with 
Syria, saying : " Those messengers who came to China most 
naturally might have said, 'We come from the land where 
the Lord is born ; and the Lord is born in Ta-ts'in,' they 
may have also said : % We come from the land where the 
Lord is born ; and the Lord is born in Bethlehem ; ' the 
sound of which name could not be better represented than 
by the two syllables which constitute the name Fulin, then 
pronounced But-lin. To see the name of the town of 
Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah extended to the 
country to which it belongs, is by no means singular if wjs 
consider that this was done by religious enthusiasts who 
must have thought it a great privilege to come from the 
Holy Land. Moreover, the fact would be in perfect analogy 
with the Buddhistic usage according to which the name 
Magadha (|§| 'jjjp |?{?), originally the birthplace of Buddha, 
was applied to the whole of India during the T'ang dynasty." 
(" China and the Roman Orient," pp. 283-286, by. Dr. F? 
Hirth, Shanghai.) 

The third or " Fulin-Rome-theory " was launched by Dr. 
K. Shiratori, of the Tokyo Imperial University, who says : 
"Fulin is Rome. The word Rome was corrupted into 
Urum by the Huns and Tartars, and then Urum or Wrum 
was corrupted again into Butrum and, finally, this Butrum was 
corrupted into Butlin. So Fulin comes from Butlin, which 
is from Butrum, which is again from Wrum of the Turkish 

races for Rome. The people of the Ural-altaic Family 

especially Turks, Mongols, Manchurians, Koreans and 
Japanese, are apt to help themselves in pronouncing any 
word beginning with an ' R ' sound— Rome, for instance, 
becoming 'Urom.' The Chinese obtained the sounds of 
Wrum from some of the Ural-altaic races, and they applied 
the two Chinese characters 'Fu-hV for them." ("On the 


Question of Ta-ts'in and Fu-lin," by Dr. Shiratori in The 
Historical Magazine, Vol. XV., 54.) 

These theories show that the Fu-lin question is still an 
unsolved mystery as it was fifty years or more ago. It was a 
mystery in i860, when Mr. Phillips expressed his views about 
it saying : " Fu-lin is a mystery." No further progress in 
solving it has been made until now. In the enlightened 
twentieth century it is as dark as in the middle of the 

But gazing at the stone, we notice some seventy-five 
names rendered in both Chinese and Syriac, and amongst 
them a priest's name written "FU-LIN" (Jfl} jjyjt), and the 
Syriac given for that Chinese name is " Ephraim." 

On iooking still more closely we discover that there is 
one more name " Ephraim " for which the Chinese " Hsiian- 
te " (j£ |§j) f i.e. " Mystery-virtue," is given as an equivalent. 

Judging from the parallel fact that the name " Enoch " 
was expressed in Chinese by Ling-shou (Wt SE), which 
means " Spirit-life-eternal," and the name Constantine 
(HH fa) b y " Stay-in-Faith " in our Inscription, we may 
safely say that the name Hsiian-te, " Mystery-virtue " 
for "Ephraim," must be the translated name, the word 
" Ephraim " being supposed to come from the Hebrew root 
" PHARAH," " fruitful." Thus, " (Be fruitful of) Mystery, 
virtue," was the underlying idea in the priest's name as 
rendered in Chinese, whilst " Fu-lin " is simply the Chinese 
phonetization of the sound " Ephraim." This is quite plain 
from the Chinese characters for " E-fu-lin " (j§^ JjJ|j j^t) in 
Prof. Pelliot's Diptychs. 

According to the Chinese History of the T'ang Era, the 
name " Fu-lin " appeared for the first time in the middle of 
the seventh century A.D. The Chronicles say : 

" In 645 A.D., King Po-to-li of Fu-lin sent an embassy " 

Now in our Inscription (which was undoubtedly written 


in the year 780 A.D.) we find the " Priest Fu-lin" represented 
by the same Chinese characters. 

It is most natural for us, therefore, to conclude that if the 
Priest "Fu-lin" in the eighth-century Inscription is Priest 
" Ephraim," the country indicated by the word " Fu-lin " in 
the seventh-century writings should be interpreted as "the 
Country of Ephraim." 

But how we can identify this "Kingdom of Ephraim," 
with Po-to-li (which is the Chinese corruption for ""Patriarch") 
at the head of its government, with the so-called " Syria " is 
,quite another matter. 

The Chinese history says : " To the north-west, this* 
country of Persia ($£ ^Jf @jj) borders on the Kingdom of 
Fu-lin (Jfl} ffifl §}), which resembles the kingdom of Persia 
in point of soil, manners, and customs ; but they differ in 
point of language and appearance of the inhabitants. These 
also possess a good quantity of valuable gems and are very 

" To the south-west of Fu-lin, in an island of the sea, is 
the kingdom of the western women ; here there are women 
only, with no men ; they possess a large quantity of gems 
and precious stones, which they exchange in Fu-lin. There- 
fore, the King of Fu-lin sends certain men to live with them 
for a time. If they should have male children, they are not 
allowed to bring them up." 

This description of the Kingdom of Fu-lin is from the 
"Buddhist Records of the Western World," by Hsiian- 
tsang, the Chinese Pilgrim, who left Hsi-an-fu in 628 A.D. 
and returned to China in 645 A.D., having spent seventeen 
years in India and in travelling through the Central 
Asian kingdoms lying between China and India. 

Evidently this Pilgrim-author did not visit Persia or 
Fu-lin personally, as he tells us in his introductory remarks 
that he himself visited no countries, but that those other 
28 countries of which he wrote, he described from reports 


r _ 

§**$ (To our regret these important clauses have been generally 

omitted in the European translation of the book. Perhaps 
the translators could not obtain the best text for their transla- 

Thus none of the writings of contemporary authors affect 
what we have already said. 

Again, among the fragments discovered by Prof. Pelliot 
there is a portion of a book called " Hui-ch'ao's Visit to the 
Five Indies" (^ H f£ £ ^C ** ■ &), in which the 
following paragraphs are quite distinct and legible : 

" From Takharestan (|£ j^^||) going westward for 
one month, we arrived at Persia. This Kingdom of Persia 
formerly ruled over Tadjik (^ ^£). The Tadjik used to be 
the pastoral people under the Persian king, but afterwards 
they rebelled against the king, and not only gained their 
independence, but finally power to rule over Persia. . . . Tadjik 
trade in the Western Sea and their ships sailing southward 
reached the island of Ceylon. . . . Again, going from Persia 
northward for ten days across the mountains, we reach 
Tadjik, and beyond it there is Little Fu-lin (/J> |j$ IJgf |g|) # 

■ They worship God, but do not know Buddhism. In their 
Law they do not practise kneeling down. 

' " Again, Greater Fu-lin lies to the north-west of the sea 
which bounds Little Fu-lin. The king of Greater Fu-lin has a 
strong army and is not subject to any other country. The 
Tadjik invaded it without success. The land is wide enough 
and full of precious things — mules, donkeys, sheep, and 
horses, and mats, etc. Their dress resembles that of Persia 
and Tadjik (^ !jj|), but their language is not the same." 

The "Land of Ephraim" — what is it? and where was 
it ? These questions must be settled by specialists, but one 
thing is clear, through the light shed by the Priest EphrainVs 
name on the stone, that the " Fu-lin Country " is " the Land of 
Ephraim," that is, the land from which the missionaries came. 


Thus the stone is proved from Chinese sources to be both 
When and historically and calligraphically genuine. We 

Ne8torian the sha11 now P roceed to consider when and how it 
Stone buried? came to be buried. Even the supposed causes — 
which are probable enough — may still serve as indirect 
proofs of the genuineness of the stone. 

Now the Nestorian Monument, as we know for certain, 
was erected on the 4th of February, 781 A.D. ; and. after 
having lain buried in the ground for many centuries, was 
discovered in 1623 A.D., or, more strictly speaking, not later 
than 1625 A.D. 

We can only ascertain the time of its burial indirectly, for 
prior to 1623, or 1625 A.D., nobody knew anything about it. 
The Inscription is not found in any of the " Stone and Metal 
Collections " of the Sung or Ming Dynasties ; that is to say, 
in works compiled as far back as the year 1064 A.D., when 
books on " Stone and Metal Collections " were first compiled 
in China. 

It is in Wang Ch'ang's (J jj^l) collection written in the 
seventeenth century that our Nestorian Inscription first 
appears. It is clear that none of the writers on " Stone and 
Metal Collections" between the tenth and the seventeenth 
centuries were acquainted with it. Only the Ta-ch'in 
monastery was referred to in the book called " Ch'ang-an 
Topography " ( jj £ %) (20 Vols.), by Sung Min-ch'iu 

(5R Wt *$0» m l0 79 AJX > wno tnus describes it : 

"In the north-east of the I-ning Ward there was the 
Persian temple. In the twelfth year of Cheng-kuan 
Oft IS) ( 6 38 A.D.), the Emperor T'ai-tsung had it built for 
A-lo-ssu (pij H ttfr) {i.e. A-lo-pen, jSf || ;£), a foreign 
monk from Ta Ch'in. 

"To the east of Li-ch'uan Ward, the ancient Persian 
monastery stood. This was built there in the second year of 
the I-feng (|g J^) Period {677 A.D.), by the three brothers 



r ' of Firus (^. ££> Sjf), who obtained leave from the Chines e/ 

° < j^ ) Emperor to build it. ( ~ 

" During the Sh£n-lung ( jjtffr g|) Period (705-707 A.D.) of 
the Emperor Chung-tsung, Tsung Ch'u-k'o (£j* ^ ^£), the 
favourite of the Emperor and once Prime-minister, occupied 
the Monastery building as his residence and removed the 
Monastery to the south-west corner of Pu-ch£ng Ward and 
to the west of the Zoroastrian temple." 

Now, why did Sung Min-ch'iu, with all his learning, make 
such a foolish mistake as to write A-lo-ssu (fBJ ||| Jff)* for 
A-lo-p£n (JSpf jJH ^fc) ? If he, or his assistant, could have got 
a rubbing of the Inscription or seen the stone itself, such a 
mistake could not have occurred. Why did he not see the 
rubbing in the early part of the eleventh century ? Was it not 
mainly due to the fact that the stone was not then standing ? 

We think the monument must have been removed long 
before Sung Min-ch'iu's time, or else so able a writer could 
not have made such a slip of the pen. 

As there is no mention of the Inscription in the books 
upon "Metal and Stone" compiled between the tenth and 
seventeenth centuries, we may justly conclude that the 
monument must have been buried some time prior to the 
eleventh century, and we must therefore try to ascertain 
the most probable date for its burial between those years, 
781 A.D. and 1064 A.D., when the first compilation of "Metal 
and Stone Collections " was made. 

During these 283 years there were at least two occasions 
on which the Nestorian Stone might have possibly been 
buried. One is what may correctly be called " the Ta-ch'in 
Rebellion " of 783-784 A.D. The other is the well-known 
great religious persecution by the Emperor Wu-Tsung of 
Buddhism and other foreign religions — Nestorian, Moham- 
medan, and Zoroastrian — in 845 A.D. 

* &3cii> preserved in the Ueno Library, Tokyo, has Ur instead of ;fc. 


The general opinion amongst writers on the Nestorian 
Inscription is that the stone was buried by some Nestorians 
to save it from the general destruction that followed the 
persecution of 845 A.D. 

But a new theory put forth by us recently that the 
stone might have been buried on the return of the Emperor 
T£-Tsung from Feng-t'ien to Ch'ang-an in 784 A.D., when 
the Ta-ch'in Rebellion came to an end with the death of 
Chu Tz'u (^ Jjjj;), the ringleader, and with the execution 
of all his party, is not altogether groundless. 

We shall first speak of- the Ta-ch'in Rebellion and then 
of Wu-Tsung's persecution. 

Why do we call this rebellion of Chu Tz'ii in 783 A.D. 
" the Ta-ch'in Rebellion " ? It is because he called himself 
u the Emperor of Ta-ch'in." 

He used exactly the same name and ideographs as are 
used in the Nestorian Inscription of 781 A.D. The rebellion, 
as recorded in the authentic history of China, broke out in 
October, 783 A.D., but no historians, native or foreign, give 
the real causes of this rebellion. Out of the dry official 
documents of that time we can only make out how it was 

When Yao Ling-yen (jgjjj ^ *q), the Governor-general of 
Ching-yuan (J§f ]j§), arrived in the Imperial City on his way 
to Chiang-chou ( j$£ $]) at the head of 5000 soldiers at the 
end of October, 783 A.D., it was winter and very cold. 
The soldiers expected some extra bounty and liberal gifts 
from the Emperor's own hand, as they had fought so long 
and so well for him in the frontier service. But, to their 
great disappointment, nothing was given to them in the way 
of recognition for their services, and no words of consolation 
even for the toils of the campaign were expressed. 

Two days afterwards, when they were about to leave the 
capital and some companies had already marched a few miles 
away from Ch'ang-an, the Mayor whose name was Wang Hung 


(3E tM) wanted to give them consolation, and invited them 
to a dinner. But all he could give was poor, hard rice and 
scanty vegetables. 

When they saw the poor fare before them, they became so 
much enraged that they kicked the tables to pieces and broke 
all the dishes and cried, " To the Imperial Palace ! " " To 
the Palace ! " " Let us help ourselves to the treasures kept 
in the Imperial Warehouse ! " 

All at once rushed towards the Imperial Palace. The 
Emperor and all his court, taken by surprise, knew no other 
course than to take to flight. So they all ran away from 
the postern gate towards Feng-t'ien (^ ^C), i.e. Ch'ien-chou 
(?£ fH)t aD0Ut 3° miles north of Ch'ang-an. 

The mutinous soldiers then occupied the Palace and the 
Imperial Capital. They decided to have General Chu Tz'u 
0fc Jjtt)> who happened to be in the Capital at that very 
time, as tlieir new Emperor, and they conducted him accord- 
ingly to the deserted Imperial Palace. 

Chu Tz'u, apparently most unwillingly, accepted their 
proposal and called himself " Ta-ch'in Emperor ! " 

He then proceeded to organize his own Government. In 
doing so, he relied chiefly on the support of Yuan Hsiu 
(iS tfc)' w ^° was famous for tact ; Chang Kuang-cheng 
(5M ^fe J|L)> wno was a man °f Chou-chih and had a repu- 
tation for sincerity and faithfulness ; Chiang Chen Qf§ ^|), 
who was noted for his honesty and integrity ; and P'eng Yen 
(s£ fE)» wno was well known for his learning ; and Ching 
Kang (^ ffif), who was famous for his bravery and sagacity. 
He afterwards added Ch'iao Lin (^ J^), the Imperial tutor, 
to his Government. 

It was at Chou-chih that this Ch'iao Lin deserted the cause 
of the Emperor Te-Tsung on the Emperor's way to Feng-t'ien 
in 783 A.D. He was one of the court party who followed 
the Emperor, but only as far as the neighbourhood of Chou- 
chih, where he hid himself in the Hsien-yu-ssii ('ftlj }$£ nj-f )— 


"Saint-visited Monastery" — and declined to proceed any 
farther on the pretence that his health did not permit him 
to do so; the next day, however, he joined the Ta-ch'in 

But at last the Ta-ch'in rebels were defeated, and the 
men who supported the cause of Chu Tz'ii were beheaded at 
Fan Hsien, thirty miles north-west of Chou-chih, in 784 A.D., 
and then the Emperor T£-Tsung returned to Ch'ang-an 
through Chou-chih, and probably passed by the Hsien-yu-ssu, 
" Saint-visited Monastery ! " 

If this " Saint-visited Monastery " had been a Nestorian 
one, and the very spot where the Nestorian Stone had been 
erected in 781 A.D., the stone might have been ordered to 
be buried because it had upon it the very hateful name 
of Ta-ch'in. 

If it were not buried by the Emperor's order, then some, 
we suppose, of the Nestorians, anticipating its destruction by 
the Imperial order, might have buried it in order to save it 
from the hand of destroyers. 

This supposition of ours is greatly strengthened by the 
fact that the stone was actually dug out at a place between 
Chou-chih and Hsi-an-fu, and by the fact that none of the 
Cheng-yuan (J| jfc) andYiian-ho (jq JfQ) writers— 785 A.D.- 
820 A.D. — Han Yti, Liu Tsung-yiian and others, make the 
slightest mention of the stone in their writings. Han Yii 
came to Ch'ang-an in 786 A.D. for the first time when he was 
nineteen years old, whilst Liu Tsung-yiian came to the capital 
in 788 A.D. Not the least trace of the stone can be seen 
reflected in the prose or poetry of the age. This mystery can 
only be accounted for if the stone was buried in 784 A.D. 

If this supposition fails to explain when and why it was 
buried, then we must seek the time and the circumstances of 
its burial in 845 A.D. 

Already the reaction against the Nestorians and the 
Buddhists began to appear as early as 797 A.D., when for the 



first time the Confucianists were allowed to join the Imperial 
Birthday Service. Previous to that time the privilege was 
given only to the Buddhists, Taoists, and Nestorians. 

Again, in 819 A.D., Han Yu (tjjfc jfa), "the Macaulay of 
China," addressed a memorial to the Emperor Hsien-Tsung 
against the Emperor's order to bring a famous bone-relic of 
Buddha to the capital and to deposit it within the precincts 
of the Imperial Palace. Han Yu said that the relic should 
be delivered to the proper officials to be thrown into the 
water, or into the fire, to be made an end of for ever. He 
concluded his famous memorial thus : 

* If the bone of Buddha has the efficacy of the living 
Spirit to bring calamity or trouble as punishment, let it alight 
upon my own person ! High Heaven sees everything, and 
I have nothing to fear ! " 

Although Han Yu was punished for his bold action, 
public sympathy was with him ; and Taoists and Confucianists, 
taking advantage of this opportunity, stirred up a reactionary 
movement against the foreign religions, which resulted in 
the great persecution inaugurated by the Imperial Edict of 
Wu-Tsung, A.D. 845 — the third great persecution that occurred 
during the whole eight hundred years since Mahayana 
Buddhism first entered China in Ming-Ti's (^| Eft *JJj) reign, 
A.D. 67— during which time it established itself as " Chinese 

Prior to the proclamation of Wu-Tsung's Edict (according 
to the Chinese contemporary history), there were over 44,600 
Buddhist monasteries with 265,000 monks and nuns. 

This is not an excessive number when compared with 
the 71,819 Buddhist temples with 123,448 priests we have 
now in Japan, besides 51,284 shrines with 74,559 Shinto 

The Edict was entitled " The Proclamation ordering the 
destruction of the Buddhist monasteries." It runs thus : 

"We learn that there was no such thing as Buddhism 


prior to the Three Dynasties, ue. Hsia (jj), Yin (jfgf ), Chou 


" After the dynasties of Han and Wei, the Image-Teaching • 
gradually began to flourish. And once established, in that 
degenerate age, this strange custom prevailed far and wide, 
and now the people are soaked to the bone with it. Just now 
the national spirit begins to be spoiled unconsciously by it ; 
and, leading the heart of the people astray, it has put the 
public in worse condition than ever. In the country — 
throughout the Nine Provinces, and among the mountains 
and fields as well as in both the capitals — the number of 
priests is daily increasing and the Buddhist temples are 
constantly winning support. 

" Wasting human labour in building ; plundering the 
people's purse by golden decorations ; ignoring parents and 
the Sovereign in contributions ; neglecting both husband 
and wife by their vigil-keeping ; no teaching is more harmful 
than this Buddhism. In breaking the laws of the country 
and injuring the people, none can surpass this Buddhism. 

" Moreover, if a farmer neglect his field, many suffer the 
pangs of starvation from his negligence ; if a woman neglects 
her silk-worm culture, many suffer the calamity of being 
frozen to death through her negligence. Now there are at 
present so many monks and nuns that to count them is 
almost impossible. They all depend on farming for their 
food, and upon silk-worms for their clothing ! 

" The public monasteries and temples, as well as private 
chapels and shrines, are innumerable; and all of them so 
gigantic and imposing that they vie with the Imperial Palace 
in splendour ! In Dynasties Chin (^), 265 A.D.-420 A.D., 
Sung (£(£), 420-476 A.D.,Crrt ((Slf), 479-501 A.D., and Liang 
(Wc)> 5 02 -55 6 A.D., the resources of this Empire were 
exhausted and the country gradually declined, whilst its 
manners and customs became flippant and insincere, solely 
because of this Buddhism. 


"Our Imperial ancestor T'ai-tsung put an end to con 
fusion and disorder by his arms, and built up the glorious 
Middle Kingdom and governed his people by his accom- 
plished learning and culture. The right of 'the pen' (i.e. 
peaceful rule or civic administration), and 'the sword' (i.e. 
war) belongs to the State, and they are the two weapons 
wherewith to govern the Empire. How dare the insignificant 
Teaching of the Western Lands compete with ours ? During 
the periods of Cheng-kuan (j=| ||g) (627-649 A.D.) and K'ai- 
yiian (^ 7C) (7*3-755 A - D -)» things were bettered once for 
all, but the remnants were smouldering, and poverty began 
to grow bigger and wider and threatened to set the country 
ablaze ! 

" After closely examining the examples set by our 
Imperial predecessors, We have finally decided to put an end 
to such conspicuous evils. Do ye, Our subjects, at home and 
abroad, obey and conform to Our sincere will. If ye send 
in a Memorial suggesting how to exterminate these evils 
which have beset Us for many Dynasties, We shall do all We 
can to carry out the plan. Know ye that We yield to none 
in fulfilling the laws of Our predecessors and in trying to be 
helpful to Our people and beneficial to the public. 

" Those 4600 monasteries supported by Government shall 
be confiscated and, at the same time, 260,500 nuns and 
priests shall return to secular life so that they may be able 
to pay the taxes. We shall also confiscate 40,000 private 
temples and monasteries known by the name of Aranya, 
together with the fertile and good lands amounting to several 
tens of millions of acres; and emancipate 150,000 slaves and 
make them into free, tax-paying people. 

" Examining into the teachings from the foreign lands 
in the Empire, We have discovered that there are over 3000 
monks from Ta-ch'in and Mu-hu-fu ; and these monks also 
shall return to lay life. They shall not mingle and interfere 
with the manners and customs of the Middle Kingdom 



" More than a hundred thousand idle, lazy people and busy- 
bodies have been driven away, and numberless beautifully 
decorated useless temples have been completely swept 
away. Hereafter, purity of life shall rule Our people and 
simple and non-assertive rules prevail, and the people of 
all quarters shall bask in the sunshine of Our Imperial 
Influence. But this is only the beginning of the reforms. 
Let time be given for all, and let Our will be made known 
to every one of Our subjects lest the people misunderstand 
Our wish." 

This terrible blow to Chinese Buddhism is known as 
" the Third Persecution," and was the greatest that Buddhism 
encountered since its introduction into China in 67 A.D. Of 
all the four persecutions, this, resulting from Wu-Tsung's 
Edict, was the worst. 

Again, in " The Complete Works of Li Yu " (^ |g) 
(^ jt ItS 3C Jfl)> wno was P"me Minister to the Emperor 
Wu-Tsung in that very year 845 A.D., we read his official letter 
addressed to the Emperor congratulating the Emperor on 
his successful destruction of the temples and monasteries 
(see Appendix, No. VIII.). In this letter Li Yu refers 
to the 2000* Nestorians and Mohammedans as we have 
already seen in the Imperial Edict above referred to, which 
was in reality written by Li Yu himself, for it was the official 
duty of a Prime Minister to write the draught of an Imperial 
decree for the Emperor, whilst the style and phraseology of 
the letter and Edict are exactly the same (see Appendix, 
No. VIII.). 

These and many other writings of the time show how 
badly the Nestorians suffered from the cruel hand of the 
Persecutor. It is not at all surprising that all the writers on 
the Nestorian Stone agree in saying that it was most likely 
due to this terrible persecution that the Assyrian Monument 

* Instead of 3000 as mentioned above, 2000 is according to the oldest copy 
preserved in the Ueno Library. 


was buried by Christians who wished to preserve the stone 
from the general destruction ordered by the Emperor 

Although we learn from foreign sources that there were 
several Nestorian churches in China in the eleventh and 
fifteenth centuries,* we never read in Chinese books anything 
about the Assyrian Church and its members after this disaster 
of 845 A.D. Even when Wu-Tsung's successor reversed his 
anti-Buddhist policy and began to restore the monasteries 
during several years, there arose no emperor who remembered 
either A-lo-pen and his monks or their successors who erected 
the stone. 

* See Gibbon's words quoted on p. 38. Besides we read the following 
words of Sir Henry Yule : " No more is known, so far as I am aware, of 
Christianity in China till the influx of European travellers in the days of 
Mongol supremacy. We then again find a considerable number of Nestorian 
Christians in the country. It is probable that a new wave of conversion had 
entered during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, consequent on the Christian- 
ization of large numbers among the Turkish and Mongolian tribes, of which 
we have many indications, and on the influence exercised by those tribes upon 
Northern China, both in the time of Chinghiz and his successors, and in the 
revolutions which preceded the rise of that dynasty." 

Again we read: "In the time of Marco Polo we find Nestorian Christians 
numerous not only at Samarkand but at Yarkand, whilst there are such also in 
Chichintalas (identified by Pauthier with the modern Urumtsi, north of the 
Thian Shan), in Suchau and Kanchu, and over all the kingdom of Tangut, in 
Tenduc and the cities east of it, as well as in Manchuria and the countries 
bordering on Corea. Polo's contemporary Hayton also testifies to the number 
of great and noble Tartars in the Uigur country who held firm to the faith of 
Christ. As regards the spread of Nestorian Christianity in China Proper at 
this period we do not find in Polo so many definite statements, though various 
general allusions which he makes to Christians in the country testify to their 
existence. He also speaks of them specifically in the remote province of 
Yunnan, and at Chinkiang-fu, where they had two churches built in the 
traveller's own day by Mar Sergius, a Christian officer who was governor 
there. Their number and influence in China at the end of the thirteenth 
century may also be gathered from the letter of John of Monte Corvino 
(pp. 198 seg.) in this volume ; and in the first part of the following century from 
the report of the Archbishop of Soltania, who describes them as more than 
thirty thousand in number, and passing rich people. Probably there was a 
considerable increase in their numbers about this time, for Odoric, about 1324, 
found three Nestorian churches in the city of Yangchau, where Marco would 
probably have mentioned them had they existed in his time." (XCVII.-XCIX., 
Vol. I., " Cathay and the Way Thither.") 


This is not surprising, for Persia (the centre and in- 
spirer of the Christian Church in the Orient) lost political 
influence after the Mohammedans came into power in Central 
Asia and China in the eighth century, and the Christians 
began to be absorbed into the larger body of Moham- 

This, at first sight, seems incredible. But turning to the 
history of the Jacobite schism or Monophysite heresy concern- 
ing the one nature of Christ in the sixth century, we shall 
find that " the opponents of the Council of Chalcedon formed 
themselves into dissenting bodies absolutely separated from 
the Orthodox churches and provided with a complete hier- 
archy from the Patriarch of Antioch down to the inferior 
orders, and that these communities maintained their position 
in spite of the official Imperial churches, and especially after 
the Moslem invasion, attained a high degree of prosperity." 
(Duchesne's " Origines du culte Chretien," p. 65.) 

Of course, 3000 Nestorian and Mohammedan monks are 
too insignificant a number to compare with the 260,500 
monks and nuns of Buddhism. 

But had they been strengthened by the State from the 
ninth to the thirteenth centuries, and had they not been cut 
off from the main body of the Church the numbers might 
have greatly increased and some portion of the 21,500,000 
of Mohammedans and the ten millions of the Chin-tan Chiao 
(^j£ ^J* !§St) now in China might have been Christian. 

If our first supposition be accepted, the result would be 
that the stone stood above ground only a few years and that 
neither Han Yii and Liu Tsung-ytian of China nor Kobo Daishi 
of Japan could have seen it. But if the second supposition 
about the date and the reason for burying the stone be correct, 
then this Monument stood conspicuously above ground for 
only sixty-four years, viz. from A.D. 781 to 845, steadily 
witnessing to the Truth of God in the heart of China. Then, 
having given its witness—" the Teaching Stone " is its name 


in the Inscription — it was buried in the earth, and there pre- 
served unhurt for some 780 years. 

Whichever view we may take, the student-priest Gyoga 
(fif !H) wno returned fr° m Hsi-an-fu in A.D. 784 must have 
been the first from Japan who ever saw the Nestorian Stone, 
and if we accept the second supposition, the Tendai-shu priest 
Jigaku (ffa f£) who returned from China in A.D. 841 must 
have been the last Japanese who saw it. In other words, 
according to the second theory, the stone existed twenty-two 
years before and forty-four years after our Kobo-daishi visited 
Hsi-an-fu in 804 A.D., and studied Sanscrit from Prajiia, the 
Kashmir monk, who had co-operated with Ching-ching (King- 
tsing), Adam, the author of our Inscription, in translating 
a Buddhist sutra. 

The genuineness of the Monument itself is one thing 
Nature ol the wnilst tne accuracy of the Inscription is another. 

Ch'ang-an One cannot by any means say that all the state- 
civilization : . . . 1 « 
Christian ments in this Inscription are correct simply because 

-SttaS" the stone itself is genuine. 

Japan. Much has already been written about the dis- 

crepancy, self-contradictions, and ambiguity of the expressions 
used in the Inscription, whilst yet much remains to be done 
in the way of textual criticism. 

This is not surprising. Things written in the eighth 
century with but dim knowledge of Heaven and Earth must 
be tested by those whose knowledge has been enlightened by 
scientific study and their minds widened by travel and inter- 
national communication. 

But one thing is sure, namely, that, by studying the 
Inscription, we are more and more convinced of its genuine- 
ness, although at the same time we can understand the ignor- 
ance of the Nestorian pioneers of Christianity in the Far East. 

Their relations with Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism 
were quite different from those that Christian missionaries 
now enjoy in China and in the Far East generally. 


At present Christian missionaries are more advanced in 
science, if not in philosophy, than the Chinese amongst whom 
they work. It was not so in the seventh, eighth, and ninth 

If we trust what is written in the Inscription, at least if 
we assume that Christianity may have been well known at 
Ch'ang-an during two out of the three centuries of the Pang 
Dynasty, we cannot but recognize the fact that we Japanese 
were, consciously or unconsciously, and directly or indirectly, 
much influenced by the Nestorians. Some of the thoughts 
that our ancestors derived from China during the seventh, 
eighth, and ninth centuries were Christian thoughts in Chinese 
garb, like these words that we once thought were pure and 
simple Chinese, but which are now proved by scholars to be 
nothing else but Greek or Hebrew. 

If we were to follow the example set by the late Prof. 
Max Muller, who was wont to distinguish between the 
Christianity of the Church and that of Christ, China and 
the Chinese of the T'ang Era were far more influenced by 
the Christianity of Christ than some parts of European 
Christendom are to-day. For instance, Russia is, no doubt, 
a Christian country, but Christianity — if not Ecclesiasticism — 
exercised much greater influence in China during the T'ang 
Dynasty than in the Russia of the Empress Katherine the 

Those who labour as missionaries in the Far East should 
remember that they are working in a field that has been 
already, thinly as it may be, sown with the seed of Gospel 
Truth. They must realize that they are treading on " holy 
ground " ! 

The people to whom they preach to-day are the spiritual 
descendants not only of Confucius or of Sakyamuni, but 
of the Early Christians themselves, and in rooting up 
what appears to them to be "tares" they should beware 
lest they are also destroying the "wheat" which has lain 


buried for centuries — unrecognized for lack of discerning 
eyes ! 

The Nestorian Monument itself is a great witness to this 

We are convinced that the China of the T'ang Era was 
under Christian influence actually, if not in name. 

Christian humanity was then well developed, and in the 
Chinese literature of that period we find an account of the 
Emancipation of slaves by Liu Tsung-yiian (jjjjp ^ j£) 
in his province, whilst the ideas of individuality and human 
equality were also highly developed in Chinese society. 

For we read in this Inscription : " The great Emperor 
Kao-Tsung (a.D. 650-683) most respectfully succeeded to his 
ancestors ; and giving The True Religion (i.e. the Luminous 
Religion) the proper elegance and finish, he caused the 
monasteries of the Luminous Religion to be founded in 
every department. Accordingly he honoured A-lo-p£n by 
conferring on him the office of the Great Patron and Spiritual 
Lord of the Empire. The Law (of the Luminous Religion) 
spread throughout the Ten Provinces (of China), and the 
Empire enjoyed great peace and concord. Monasteries were 
built in many cities, whilst every household was filled with 
the great biasings (of Salvation)." 

And that this is no exaggeration is proved by the fact 
that when this Inscription was written " the titular Director- 
ship of the Imperial Bureau of Ceremonies, Music, Festivals, 
Sacrifices, and Worship," was held by a Nestorian Priest and 
Archdeacon, the head of the Church of Kumdan and Saragh, 
whose name was Gabriel (^ ^lj). 

Therefore, unless we can prove this Inscription to be 
entirely false — which is impossible — we may accept what 
is written therein with a faith supported by historical 

If we have to call the Ch'ang-an civilization "a kind of 
Christian civilization," then we must necessarily admit that 


those countries that received the Ch'ang-an civilization in the 

Middle Ages were morally as good as any European countries 

which profess the Roman Catholic or the Greek Orthodox 

Faith in Christendom, because this Chinese Christendom was a 

daughter of the Assyrian Church which claimed descent from 

the Apostle Thomas and his immediate disciples. 

Of this effect we shall let the student judge for himself 

when he has read the actual words of Abbe Hue, 
What was the , . _ „ „ f . . . . __ . ^ 

effect on the author of " Christianity in China, Tartary, 

msmeJy 'rf and Tibet " This missionary wrote :_ 

the Stone in « One does not know how to count the large 

A.D. 1623? & 

number of people who came from all parts to 

view this stone, some admiring it for its antiquity, and 

others for the novelty of its characters which seemed to 

them to be foreign. 

"And as the Light of the Gospel and the knowledge 
of Our Religion is now spread in all parts of the Empire, 
a pagan * who is a very intimate friend of Dr. Leon Li (a 
Christian mandarin), having heard of the Mysteries hidden 
under this writing, thought to oblige his friend by sending him 
a copy although they were separated by a month and a half's 
journey — the Christian mandarin living in the city of Han- 
tcheou-fu (^yj[ }J»|>| Jff), where our Fathers were quasi-refugees 
because of the last persecutions. 

"Three years later, in 1628 A.D., Semedo and other 
Fathers passed through the province with a Christian man- 
darin, named Philip, who desired to have them in his 
company during a mission to this country. 

"They were not there long before they built a church 
and a residence at Hsian-fu, capital of the province ; because 
God who had brought to light so rich a testimony of the 

* This must be Chang Keng-yii who first sent a rubbing to Dr. Leon Li in 
1625. But Leon Li writes on the 12th of June, 1625 : M Chang Keng-yii of 
Ch'i-yang, the co-sufferer in the cause." This indicates that he was a Christian, 


possession which the preachers of His Law had once taken 
in His Name of so flourishing an empire, would once again 
use it for the confirmation of His subjects and re-enter more 
easily into His ancient rights." 

The Abbe* Hue continues : 

"The discovery of the Monument of Hsi-an-fu made a 
great noise in all the Provinces of the Empire, and contri- 
buted not a little to the success of the missionaries. 

" The Christians, who had been forced to submit to such 
outrages and humiliations in the last persecutions, enjoyed 
the consideration of both mandarins and people, above 
all since that most illustrious of neophytes, Doctor Paul 
(^ 3fe ^P)' nac * k een raised to the rank of Prime Minister. 
This was to Chinese eyes a powerful argument to see at the 
head of the Government a worshipper of the Lord of Heaven. 

" At this epoch, conversions were numerous ; many mis- 
sionaries reaped the labours of the ancient Apostles ; they 
founded new churches, and notwithstanding the troubles 
which agitated the Empire the Christianity of China made 
marvellous strides. In 1627 A.D., 13,000 Christians were 
reckoned in seven different Provinces, viz. Kiang-si, Che- 
kiang, Shan-tung, Shan-si, and Pechili. 

" This number grew so rapidly that ten years later it had 
risen to over 40,000. This figure is no doubt insignificant 
compared to the immense population of China ; but if one 
considers that these results were obtained in less than forty 
years, after the incredible difficulties to establish Christianity 
in the Interior, in the midst of all kinds of contradictions and 
of bloody persecutions ; if one considers, besides, that they 
had to evangelize the most anti-religious people in the world, 
one is forced to concede that the missionaries' successes were 
considerable, and that it is possible by force of zeal and 
perseverance, to fertilize the most barren soil. 

"Besides Paul, the Prime Minister (who succeeded the 
terrible persecutor of the Christians), and Dr. Leon Li and 


Dr. Michel,* the distinguished Doctors of Literature — who 
were mandarins as well as pillars of the Church in China — 
there were 14 mandarins of the First Button, 10 Doctors of 
Literature, 11 Licentiates and 300 Bachelors, Christianity 
counted also many proselytes in the Imperial Family — 
the missionaries baptized over 140 ; although these minor 
Princes held no official position in the Government, still, 
by reason of their birth and dignity, they had a certain 
influence in State affairs. 

" Forty of the principal eunuchs attached to the Emperor's 
service were also converted to the Faith, and thirty-eight of 
the Court ladies in the Imperial Harem were baptized by the 
eunuchs, to whom special authority had been given on account 
of the strict seclusion in which these ladies were kept. The 
story of their faith and devotion although excluded from 
Christian worship, is very touching. The Chinese neophytes, 
whether mandarins, literati, princes, or people, were sincerely 
attached to the Religion, and fulfilled its duties faithfully." 
(See Hue's "Le Christianisme en Chine," Vol. II., p. 319.) 

The history of the Nestorian controversy which produced 
The origin such far-reaching results must be interesting 
menUHhT to ever Y st " den t of theology. But as from the 

Nestorian or nature of our work we cannot devote much space 
(to speak ■ 

more cor- to it, we shall only refer to Nestorius and his 

Assyrian 16 doctrines as a side-light to prove that our 

Church. Monument belongs to "the Assyrian Church of 

the Messiah " — that is to say, Christ. 

Nestorius, Bishop of Antioch, succeeded Sisinnius as 

Patriarch of Constantinople in A.D. 428. Brought up in 

* The wonderful story of Dr. Leon and his healing through the waters of 
baptism and the holy anointing, wherein his body recovered strength and his soul 
received a supernatural power conforming itself unrestrainedly to the Law of God, 
is well worth reading in this book. Whilst a pagan, with his good works and 
honesty of heart in the Search for Truth he drew towards him those special gifts 
from God which germinate the Faith in such souls. The lives of utter devotion led 
by these mandarins Leon and Michael, and of the Prime Minister Paul, are 
deserving of our profoundest study. 


the cloister, he had imbibed its tendencies to narrowness, 
partisanship, impatience, and ignorance of mankind which 
are not infrequently found among those who have been 
educated apart from their fellows. 

According to Neander, Nestorius was from Antioch and 
was very eloquent and without guile. Through his austere 
life, he had won the admiration of many. His personality 
may be realized from the words of his address to the 
Emperor Theodosius II, immediately after his appointment 
to the Patriarchate. 

" Give me, O Prince, a country purged of heretics and I 
will give you heaven as a recompense. Assist me in destroy- 
ing heretics and I will assist you in vanquishing the Persians." 

According to the contemporary historical writer, Socrates, 
before he had " tested the waters of the city " (i.e. before he 
knew its condition) he flung himself headlong into acts of 
violence and persecution. Five days after his consecration 
he resolved to destroy the oratory in which the Arians 
celebrated their worship. He did it so thoroughly that he 
drove them to desperation and lost the sympathy of the 
thoughtful in his own communion. 

"Roughly speaking, there were two tendencies in the 
Theology of the time which developed differently — the one 
in Syria and the other in Egypt. The former favoured the 
critical interpretation of Scripture and the application of the 
logical investigation to the facts and doctrines of Christianity, 
while the latter laid stress on the Divine, ue. its mysterious or 
mystical side. 

"Every day these two tendencies approached nearer to 
a collision which was destined to become fiercer as the 
personal jealousies and animosities grew stronger and keener, 
when Constantinople was elevated to the second place 
among all the Patriarchates as the New Rome. Early in the 
fifth century there was nothing to hinder, but everything 
tended rather to hasten, the outbreak of hostility. 


" Already the seeds of a breach had been sown between 
Alexandria and Constantinople in the time of Theophilus, 
Patriarch of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom, Patriarch of 
Constantinople, when Theophilus succeeded in the end of 
the fourth and at -the beginning of the fifth century (381-403 
A.D.) ; but it was the activity and violence of Nestorius and 
his supporters that set the smouldering fire ablaze ! 

"Even in Antioch there were two precisely opposite 
tendencies: one called Apollinarianism, which sacrificed to 
the unity of the person the integrity of the natures, at least 
of the human nature, and which anticipated the Monophysite 
heresy, whilst the other was Nestorianism, which held the 
Divine and human in Christ so rigidly apart as to make Him 
virtually a double person, as taught by Diodorus, Bishop 
of Tarsus (394 A.D.), and Theodore, Bishop of Mopsuestia 
(393-428 A.D.). 

" From this school proceeded Nestorius, who is said to be 
one of the strongest Christological heretics. How far he 
was heretical we need not trouble ourselves here. But if his 
doctrine differed from that of Theodore of Mopsuestia at all, 
it was because it was less speculative and more practical, 
and still less solicitous for the unity of the person of Christ. 

" Already the very bold and equivocal expression (dtoroKog) 
THEOTOKOS, c the Mother of God/ had been applied to 
the Virgin Mary by Origen, Alexander of Alexandria, 
Athanasius, Basil, and others ; and after the Arian con- 
troversy and with the growth of the worship of Mary, this 
expression passed into the devotional shibboleth of the time. 

" It goes without saying that the expression THEO- 
TOKOS did not mean that the creature bore the Creator, 
nor did it mean that the Eternal God-head took its beginning 
from Mary. It was only intended to denote the indissoluble 
union of the Divine and human natures of Christ, and the 
veritable incarnation of the Logos, who, taking human nature 
from Mary's body, came forth the God-man from her womb, 


and as God-man suffered on the Cross" (Dr. SchafFs "History 
of the Christian Churches," p. 717). For Christ was born 
as a person^ and suffered as a person ; and the personality 
in Christ resided in His divinity, not in His humanity. 

The Antiochian theology, however, could not conceive 
of human nature without a human personality, which it 
strictly separated from the Divine Logos. 

" Already the expression, ' the Mother of God ' had been 
disputed by Theodore of Mopsuestia. * Mary,' said he, ■ bore 
Jesus, not the Logos, for this Logos was and continues to be 
omnipresent, although it dwelt in Jesus in a special manner 
from the beginning. Therefore, Mary is strictly the mother 
of the Christ, not the mother of God. Only in a figure of 
speech can she be called also the mother of God, because 
God was in a peculiar sense in Christ. Properly speaking, 
she gave birth to a man-child in whom the union with the 
Lagos had begun, but still so incomplete that he could not 
yet (till after his Baptism) be called the Son of God.' 

" Again Theodore said : * Not God, but the temple in 
which God dwelt, was born of Mary.' 

" When Nestorius became Patriarch in 428 A.D., he found 
two parties already existing in Constantinople : one of which 
was calling Mary 'Mother of God/ the other, 'the Mother 
of Man.' 

" Nestorius himself took a middle course and proposed the 
intermediate expression, as a compromise, ■ Mother of Christ,' 
— in Syriac, Mother of Messiah — because Christ was at the 
same time God and Man. 

" He said in his first sermon concerning this particular 
point : ' You ask whether Mary may be called " Mother of 
God " ? Has God then a mother ? If so, heathenism itself is 
excusable in assigning mothers to its gods : but then Paul is 
a liar, for he said of the deity of Christ that it was without 
father, without mother, and without descent. No, my dear 
sirs, Mary did not bear God ; the creature bore not the 


uncreated Creator, but the man who is the mstrument of the 
God-head ; the Holy Ghost conceived not the Logos, but 
formed for him, out of the Virgin, a temple which he might 
inhabit (John ii. 21). The Incarnate God did not die, but 
quickened Him in whom He was made flesh. The garment, 
which He used, I honour on account of the God which 'was 
covered therein and inseparable therefrom ; / separate the 
Natures but I unite tJie worship! 

" Consider what this must mean. He who formed in the 
womb of Mary, was not himself God, but God assumed him 
(assumsit, i.e. clothed Himself with Humanity), and on 
account of Him who assumed, he who was assumed is also 
called God " (Dr. Schaffs " History of the Christian Church," 
p. 718). 

From these words of Nestorius arose one of the most far- 
reaching controversies in the history of the Christian Church ; 
and the Antiochian Christology, represented by Nestorius, 
began to provoke the bitterest opposition of those, more 
especially the monks, who were in sympathy with the 
Alexandrian theology. They contradicted Nestorius from 
the pulpit and insulted him in the street ; whilst he did all 
he could to punish the monks who opposed him, and suc- 
ceeded in condemning the view of his antagonists at a local 
Council held in 429 A.D. 

The first voice against him was raised at his own capital 
by Proclus, Bishop of Cyzicus, the leader of his antagonists. 
Proclus was said to have been an unsuccessful rival of 
Nestorius for the Patriarchate. But of this we are not sure. 
At any rate, he carried the worship of Mary to an excess. 
He is said to have preached the following in honour of the 
Virgin Mary : 

"The spotless treasure-house of virginity; the spiritual 
paradise of the second Adam ; the workshop, in which the 
two natures were annealed together ; the bridal chamber 
in which the Word wedded the flesh; the living bush of 


nature, which was unharmed by the fire of the Divine Birth ; 
the light-cloud which bore Him who sat between the 
Cherubim ; the stainless fleece in the dews of Heaven, with 
which the shepherd clothed his sheep ; the handmaid and 
the mother, the Virgin and Heaven." 

Cyril, the Patriarch of Alexandria, did not lose this 
chance of overthrowing his rival, the Patriarch of Constanti- 
nople, as his uncle and predecessor Theophilus had cunningly 
overthrown the noble Chrysostom in 403 A.D. The theo- 
logical controversy was, therefore, a contest of the two 
Patriarchates and the two capital cities for ascendancy in 
the Christian world ! 

Cyril used every means to defeat his rival and succeeded. 
He wrote first to Nestorius ; then to the Emperor Theodosius 
and the Empress Eudokia, as well as to the Emperor's sister, 
and finally appealed to Pope Celestine, who had condemned 
the Nestorian doctrine at a Council held at Rome in 430 A.D. 
This was due partly to Celestine's orthodox instincts, and 
partly to his anger with Nestorius for his action against the 
exiled Pelagians. 

The controversy became so general and so critical that 
a great Council was summoned by Theodosius II. and 
Valentinius on the Day of Pentecost, a.d. 431, to meet at 
Ephesus. This is known in history as "the Council of 

Nestorius came first to Ephesus accompanied by sixteen 
bishops and an armed escort. He had the Imperial influence 
on his side, no doubt, but the majority of the bishops were 
against him, as the result of the Council shows. The prevail- 
ing voice of the citizens was decidedly against him, since 
Ephesus itself was the city where the worship of the Virgin 
Mary had replaced the age-long worship of the Light and 
Life dispensing Virgin, " Diana of the Ephesians " (Acts xix. 
34), and the expression " Mother of God " was already firmly 
rooted there. 


Cyril appeared with fifty Egyptian bishops, besides monks 
and slaves, under the banners of St. Mark and the Holy 
Mother of God. 

Archbishop Memnon of Ephesus with forty Asiatic chor- 
episcopi and twelve bishops from Pamphylia were with Cyril. 
The caravan of the Patriarch John of Antioch, who was 
a great friend of Nestorius, and who had tried to act as 
peacemaker between the two rivals, was detained on the long 
journey by floods, famine, and the riots resulting from these 
two causes. 

Cyril refused to wait for these forty-two Syrian bishops, 
who supported Nestorius, and in the most treacherous way 
rushed matters through ; and in consequence the decision of 
the Council was pronounced illegal by the Emperor. 

The Council was opened in the Basilica of St. Mary with 
one hundred and sixty bishops — a number increased to one 
hundred and ninety-eight on the 22nd of June when the 
Council was actually opened. Sixteen days after Pentecost, 
Nestorius was cited to appear ; but he refused to come until 
all the bishops should be assembled. The Council then pro- 
ceeded without him and his friends, and finally condemned 
him as a heretic. The bishops unanimously cried : "We all 
anathematize Nestorius and his followers, and his ungodly 
faith and his ungodly doctrine, etc." 

The following sentence of deposition was adopted at the 
close of the first session which lasted till late in the night : 
" The Lord Jesus Christ, who is blasphemed by Nestorius, 
determines through this Holy Council that Nestorius be 
excluded from the episcopal office, and from all sacerdotal 

The next morning the sentence of deposition was brought 
to Nestorius, but the Imperial Commissioner declared the 
decree to be invalid as it was passed by only a portion of 
the Council. 

Four days after the Council, on the 26th or 27th of June, 


the Patriarch John of Antioch, and the forty-two Syrian 
bishops who sympathized with Nestorius reached Ephesus. 
The famous Theodore of Mopsuestia was a conspicuous 
figure among them. So Nestorius held a counter-council 
in his own dwelling under the protection of the Imperial 
Commissioner, and finally deposed Cyril of Alexandria and 
Memnon of Ephesus from all priestly functions as heretics 
and authors of the whole disorder, and declared the other 
bishops who voted with them to be excommunicated unless 
they should anathematize the heretical doctrines and pro- 
position of Cyril. 

Then followed all kinds of intrigues and Church politics 
quite unworthy of true Christianity. No sadder picture of 
uncharitable and unspiritual Christianity was ever seen. The 
most cruel heathen Councils could not hold a candle to this 
Church Council at Ephesus in A.D. 431. 

After long delay, the Emperor, to whom both parties had 
appealed but who failed to understand the question at stake, 
finally resolved to confirm both the deposition of Nestorius 
and that of Cyril and Memnon, and sent John, one of his 
highest officers, to Ephesus to publish the Imperial 

The deposed bishops were arrested. The Alexandrian 
party again appealed to the Emperor to release Cyril and 
Memnon. The Antiochians did the same and did everything 
possible to win the Emperor to their side. The Emperor 
was compelled to summon eight spokesmen from either 
party to his presence at Chalcedon to discuss the matter 
before him. 

Meanwhile Cyril and Memnon were kept in prison at 
Ephesus, whilst Nestorius was allowed to retire to his 
former cloister at Antioch, and on the 25th of October, 
431 A.D., Maximian was nominated as his successor in the 
Patriarchate in Constantinople. In October, 431 A.D., the 
Council of Ephesus was dissolved ; Cyril and Memnon were 


set free and the bishops of both parties ordered to return to 
their respective sees. 

Two years later a compromise was effected at the 
expense of poor Nestorius himself. That is to say, in 433 
A.D., after much consideration on both sides and through the 
Imperial interference, union was effected on the express 
condition of his condemnation and deposition. The leaven 
of bribery used by Cyril and his party had done its 

In A.D. 435 laws were enacted ordering that the Nes- 
torians should be called "Simonians," instead of " Chaldeans " ; 
that the writings of Nestorius should be burned, etc. 

The unhappy Nestorius was dragged from his former 
"convent, the Cloister of Euprepius before the gates of 
Antioch." He went first to Arabia and then to Egypt, and 
is said to have lived until 439 A.D., but no one knows where 
and when he died. 

The famous theological school of Edessa, which was the 
centre of the Antiochian theology and mission work and 
training ground of the Persian clergy, was finally dissolved 
by the Emperor Zeno in 489 A.D. But the rigorous measures 
of the Emperor against the Nestorians only proved in the 
Divine Providence to be the means of spreading Christianity 
to the Farthest East. The Theological School was removed 
to Nisibis on the River Tigris, where was the bridge by 
which the caravans crossed. By the end of that same fifth 
century, Nestorian teachers from Syria and Babylonia had 
crossed the border into Persia, where already pre-Nestorian 
Christianity was pretty strong. 

The famous Bar Somas, bishop of Nisibis from 435 to 489 
A.D., did much to spead Nestorian teaching in the East — in 
Central Asia, and then in China. He founded a new 
theological school at Nisibis and confirmed the Persian 
Christians in the Antiochian, i.e. Nestorian, theology against 
the Cyrilian Council at Ephesus. The Nestorians were 


greatly favoured by the Persian kings from Firuz (461-480 
A.D.) onward. 

This might have been mainly due to the Persian antagonism 
to Rome and Persian political hatred of the Eastern Empire. 

In 498 A.D. at the Council of Seleucia the Nestorians 
organized the Chaldean or Assyrian Church, and renounced 
all connection with the Church of the Roman Empire. In 
their liturgical language, they styled themselves Chaldean 
or Assyrian Christians — "the Children of the East," but 
their opponents continued to call them " Nestorians." 

They had their own Patriarch who dwelt in the double 
city of Seleucia-Ctesiphon from the year 496 A.D. until 762 
A.D. After that date he lived in Baghdad, which was then 
the capital of the Saracenic Empire. 

In the thirteenth century (1257 A.D.) there were no less 
than twenty-five metropolitan bishops under a Patriarch. 
Before they were all but annihilated by Timur in 1370 A.D., 
they had even a Patriarch of Uigur birth in the person of 
Yabh-allaha III., who ruled the whole Nestorian Church 
between 1281-1317 A.D. from Baghdad. 

The following list may prove useful to those who are 
interested in Church history, for, although hardly mentioned 
in English ecclesiastical literature, the names of the Nestorian 
Patriarchs are historically important.* 
1. Accacius . . . 496 — 499 

2. Bah ay 

3. Silas 

4. Narses 

5. Elias 

502 — 504 

* According to the Nestorian Liturgy the following twelve names seem to 
occupy the period of 68 years between 428 A.D., in which Nestorius was made 
Patriarch of Constantinople, and 496 A.D., in which Accacius was made 
Patriarch : — 

(1) Papa. (5) Achad Abhay. (9) Isaac. 

(2) Abhris. (6) Tumarka. (10) Achi. 

(3) Abraham. (7) Shakhlupha. (11) Yabh-allaha I. 

(4) James. (8) Kayuma. (12) Dad-ishu. 


6. Paul. . . . 

. 515 — 535 

7. Mar Abha I. . 

. 536—552 

8. Joseph . . . 


9. Ezekiel . . 

. 569—580 

10. Isho-yabh I. . 


11. Sabhr-Isho . . 


12. Gregory . . 

i 605—607 

(During the desp 

otic rule of King Khasure, there was no 

Patriarch for about twenty years.) 

13. Isho-yabh II. . 


(The first Nestorian mis- 
sion reached China in 
635 A.D.) 

14. Mar Emmih . . 


15. Isho-yabh III. . 


16. George .... 


17. John Mar Math. 


18. John .... 


19. Hanan-isho I. . 


20. Selibha-zeka . . 


21. Python . . . 


22. Abha .... 


23. Jacob .... 


(The throne of the Patriarch 
was moved to Baghdad 
under this Jacob in 762 

24. Hanan-isho II. . 


(This name was written on 
the Nestorian Stone as 
the reigning Patriarch.) 

25. Timothy I. . . 

780 (or 781, May)— 824 (or 825). 

26. Isho Bar Non . 

824 (825)- 


27. George II. . . 


28. Sabhr-isho . . 


29. Mar Abraham . 


30. Theodosius . . 


31. Sergius .... 


32. Enos .... 




33. John .... 

880—890 (?) 

34. John .... 

890—900 (?) 

35. John Bar Highir 

900 — 905 

36. Abraham . . . 


37. Immanuel. . . 


38. Israel . . . , 


39. Abhd-isho . . 


40. Mari-bar-Tobe . 


41. John . . . . 

1001 — 1017 

42. Isho-yabh. . . 

1020 — 1025 

43. Elijah I. . . . 

1028 (?>— 1049 

44. John . . . . 

1049 — I0 55 

45. Sabhr-isho . . 

1055— 1079 

46. Abhd-isho . . 

1079— 1095 

47. Makhikha I. . . 

1095 — 1 127 

48. Elijah II. . . . 

1 128 — 1 140 

49. Bar Soma . . . 

1 140— 1 163 

50. Abhd-isho. . . 

1163— 1165 (?) 

51. Isho-yabh . . . 

1 165 (?)— 1 175 

52. Elijah III.. . . 

1 176— 1 190 

53. Yabh-allaha II. . 

1190 — 1222 

54. Sabhr-isho IV. . 

1222 — 1226 

55. Sabhr-isho V. 

1226 — 1256 

56. Makhikha II. 

1257 — 1265 (The Abbasside Khaliph- 

ate ended in 1258 A.D.) 

57. Dench . . . 

. 1265 — 1281 (Marco Polo came to China, 

May, 1275.) 

58. Yabh-allaha III. 

1281 — 1317 

59. Timothy II. . 

. 1318— 1328 

60. Dench II. . . 

. 1328— 1349 

61. Elijah IV. . . 

. 1349— 1369 

62. Simon . . . 

. 1369— 1380 (This Patriarch fell a victim 

to the arms of Tamerlane 

before he vanquished 

Sultan Bajazet in 1402 




When Baghdad was taken in A.D. 1258 by Hulaku Khan, 
grandson of Genghis Khan, the Nestorian Patriarch Makhikha 
II. was the object of the conqueror's protecting care whilst 
the last of the Khaliphs, Mostasin, was dragged through the 
streets and put to death. 

Through the influence of the Christian Tartar princes, 
the Nestorian mission made great progress, and in 1281 A.D. 
Yabh-allaha, a Uigur tribesman, was actually elected Patriarch 
of the whole Assyrian Church. 

But with the rise of Timur (Tamerlane) in 1358 (his birth 
was in 1336), the Nestorians were doomed. From 1369 
A.D., when Timur was enthroned at Samarkand, till his death 
in A.D. 1405 the Nestorians were cruelly persecuted and 
almost annihilated, the majority being forced to accept 

But some idea of the extent of the Nestorian communion 
subject to the Patriarch at Baghdad in the end of the 
thirteenth century, may be formed from the annexed list 
of their Metropolitan Sees, each having charge of several 
bishoprics : 

1. Elamites, whose Metropolitan resided at Jandishapur 
or Soba in Mesopotamia (Khuzistan). 

2. Nisibis. 

3. Perath-Mesene (Bassorah). 

4. Assyria and Adiabene (Mosul and Arbela). 

5. Beth Garma or Beth Seleucia and Carcha in Assyria. 

6. Halavan or Halaha (Zohal) on the confines of 

7. Persia (Urumiah,^Salmasa and Van). 

8. Marw, i.e. Merv (Khorasan) (Sarakh). 

9. Hara (Heliumites, i.e. Herat). 

10. Razichitis (Arabia and Cortoba). 

11. Sinae (i.e. China). 

12. India. 

13. Armenia. 


14. Syria or Damascus. 

15. Adherbijan (Bards or Aderbejan). 

16. Rai and Tabaristan (Rai near Teheran on the Caspian 

17. Dailam (south of the Caspian or Hyrcanian Sea). 

18. Samarkand and Maravalnabar. 

19. Kashgar and Turkistan. 

20. Balkh and Tacharistan. 

21. Segastan (Seistan). 

22. Hamadan. 

23. Khambling (Peking). 

24. Tanchet (Tangut), N.W. of China, a country called 
" Great Tartary " and sometimes " Little Bokhara." 

25. Chasern Garah and Nuachet. 

The Metropolitan of China was an old institution. 
Already Arnobius wrote, about A.D. 300 : " Enumerari enim 
possunt, atque in usum computationis veniri, ea quae in India 
gesta sunt, apud Seres, Persas et Medos " ; and if this hardly 
amounts to reckoning the Seres (i.e. Chinese) as Christians we 
read in the Chaldean breviary of the Malabar Church, in the 
Office of St. Thomas : " By St. Thomas hath the Kingdom 
of Heaven taken unto itself wings and passed even unto 
the Chinese (cf. Yule's " Cathay and the Way Thither," p. 
lxxxix., vol. I.) ; whilst we read in Assemani as quoted by 
Sir Henry Yule: "The Hindus and the Chinese and the 
Persians, and all the people of Isles of the Sea, and they 
who dwell in Syria and Armenia, in Javan and Rou- 
mania call Thomas to remembrance and adore Thy Name, 
O Thou our Redeemer " ; and again a Metropolitan was 
consecrated for China in A.D. 411, by Isaac, Patriarch of 

In "The Book of Governors" we read: "Mar Eliya, 
whose history we are about to write, was elected Bishop of 
Mukan, David was elected to be Metropolitan of Beth Sinaye 
(i.e. China)— now I have learned concerning this man from 


the Epistles of Mar Timothy (781-825 A.D.) — together with 
Peter his disciple, who was alive and held the office of Bishop 
of the country of Yaman and San'a when I was secretary to 
Mar Abraham (837-850)." 

Mar Timothy was Patriarch between 781 and 825 A.D., so 
this David who was Metropolitan of China must have 
been the contemporary of Adam, who composed our Nestorian 
Inscription, and, if he went to China in the beginning of the 
ninth century, he may have seen this very monument. It 
is our conjecture that this David may have succeeded Adam, 
if Adam was the Metropolitan of China. 

What different opinions were held by the leaders of 
Character- religious thought about Nestorius himself may 
Nestorianism. be seen from the following variety of views. 

For his sad fate and his upright character, Nestorius and 
his long-condemned doctrine found much sympathy, whilst 
his antagonist Cyril was censured for his violent and most 
un-Christian conduct. 

Giesler, Neander, and Bethune-Baker champion Nestorius 
against Cyril and consider that he was unjustly condemned. 
Among English writers, Dean Milman expressed his sympathy 
when he said: "I would rather meet the judgment of the 
Divine Redeemer loaded with the errors of Nestorius than 
with the barbarities of Cyril " (" History of Latin Christi- 
anity," Vol. I., p. 210). Monsignor Duchesne, the greatest 
iiving Church historian (whose writings were lately con- 
demned at Rome as " too historical "), after describing 
Cyril's abominable conduct and how Jow he stooped in using 
bribery and other similar mean tricks, concludes with 
pointing out the illegality of the Council of Ephesus and 
saying : 

u Papal legates were also absent, being still en route, and 
the news of St. Augustine's death (whose presence had been 
especially convened) had not yet reached Ephesus ; whilst, 
owing to the conditions in Africa, the Bishop of Carthage 


could not attend. Therefore, the Emperor himself pro- 
nounced the Council's decision to be illegal." (Translated 
from Duchesne's " Histoire de l'ancienne Eglise," tome 3, ch. 
10, "Trag£die de Nestorius," published 191 1, Paris.) 

On the other hand, some authorities vindicate Cyril 
against Nestorius in regard to the special problem which 
divided the Church of Christ in the fifth century, that is to 
say, the question of the Unity of Christ rather than His 
twofold Nature. We have already said that whilst the 
Alexandrian Patriarch laid stress on the mystical and 
speculative side of Christology, the Patriarch of Antioch 
emphasized its ethical and practical side. 

But, however erroneous some of their theology might be, it 
cannot be denied that the Nestorians did excellent service in 
enlightening the darkness of Central Asia from the sixth to 
the fourteenth century when, through maritime discoveries, the 
Light began to reach the Eastern part of Asia by the sea-routes. 

The more we study the characteristics of the Assyrian 
Church, the more we sympathize with her and feel how pitiful 
it was that the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. could not have 
been controlled, and such conduct as Cyril's (which was the 
reverse of Christian morality) suppressed. 

Whether the Nestorian missionaries were heterodox or 
orthodox, it is certain that their ethical and practical 
theology and their medical knowledge were the true sources 
of their success in China. 

The following points characterize their Teachings, which, 
with the exception of the first, no enlightened Christians of 
the twentieth century would condemn as heterodox ! 

(1) They repudiate the worship of Mary as " the Mother 

of God " ; this is the first point on which they differ from the 

Greek and Roman Catholic Churches.* 

* Far be it from the author to try to elucidate the Nestorian heresy. All he 
wants to express is the points on which the heresy differs from the Western 
Church. It is needless to say that the term " Theotokos" is not to be objected 
to at all if properly understood (see p. 99, sufra). 


(2) They repudiate the use of images in general, although 
they retain the Sign of the Cross ; this is the second point 
of divergence between them and the Greek and Roman 
Churches. But this point cannot be insisted upon because 
the Nestorians used images {i.e. pictures) in 635 A.D., when 
they came to China with A-lo-pen. The Inscription says that 
they "brought Scriptures and images." 

(3) They are opposed to the doctrine of Purgatory, but 
they pray for the dead and emphasize an idea of Ancestor- 
worship, as may be seen from the Diptychs on which are 
written, the names of the departed. The Inscription says : 
" Seven times a day they perform worship and praise God and 
pray for the great protection of the living and for the dead." 
The daily services in the Church were seven in number, and 
the monks were careful to imitate the Psalmist, who said : 

" Seven times a day do I praise Thee, 
Because of Thy righteous judgments " (Psalm cxix. 164). 

(4) Although opposed to the theory of Transubstantiation, 
they hold the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 

(5) The Nestorian with the rest of the Catholic Church 
has always been episcopal. They have eight orders of clergy, 
which, according to the Nomo-canon of Abdh-isho, arch- 
deacon (1318 A.D.), are as follows : 

{(1) Catholicos or Patriarch. 
(2) Metropolitan. 
(3) Bishop. 

II.ThePresbyteratej^^f 6 ''- 

( (5) Archdeacon. 

r(6) Deacon. 

III. The Diaconate U7) Sub-deacon. 

1(8) Reader. 

(6) In the five lower orders — viz., priest, archdeacon, 
deacon, sub-deacon, and reader — they may marry, and in 


former times Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs were 
allowed to marry. This was mainly due to their association 
with the Zoroastrians in Persia. The fact that the country 
bishops and priests had lawful wives is shewn in the following 
sentences on the stone : 

" Adam, deacon, the son of the chorepiscopos Yesbuzid," 
or " Mar Yesbuzid, chorepiscopos, the son of the late priest 

We are surprised to find no mention of their married life 
in Hsi-an-fu by the contemporary Buddhist or Confucianist 
writers, who must have considered it strange that some of 
the Nestorian priests should be married. 

The Western Church borrowed Monasticism from the 
Orientals. Celibacy originated in Egypt, and consequently 
it must have influenced the Alexandrian school first. It was 
further encouraged by the pessimistic views of the Buddhists 
in India and in the plains of Mesopotamia, where Christianity 
very early came into contact with Buddhism. 

But when the Nestorians reached Persia they could not 
escape the influence of the Zoroastrians, to whom the possi- 
bility of celibacy was inconceivable ! 

(7) The Nestorian fasts are numerous and strict. " They 
fast to subdue desire, and to become perfect." The seasons 
for these fasts are : 

1. Lent. 

2. The fast of the Apostles : from the first Monday after 
Pentecost, till the first of "the Sundays" of Summer. 

3. The fast of the Migration of the Virgin (in the month 
of August). 

4. The fast of Elijah. 

5. The fast of the Annunciation. 

6. The fast of the Ninevites. 

7. The fast of the Virgin. 

(8) They are vegetarians : the Patriarch eats no meat. 
This looks like a Buddhist influence ; but we are told by 


Clement of Alexandria that St. Matthew, the Evangelist, was 
also a vegetarian, and so were all the great monks of the West. 

(9) The Patriarch was chosen from the same family after 
1557 A.D., but there was no such custom before the end of 
the sixteenth century. He was ordained by the Patriarch 
in Antioch as Bishop of Seleucia (the then Metropolitan), but 
after the sixteenth century he was consecrated by three 

(10) Most of the ecclesiastical books are written in the 
Syriac language, but they do not prohibit the use of the verna- 
cular or that of Greek and Latin. Before the Italians took 
possession of North Africa the language of the Christian 
Church was Latin. After that date, the Latin Church in 
Europe and the whole West used Latin exclusively, whilst 
the Greek Church enforced the Greek language. The fact 
that the Nestorians in China used the Liturgy in the Chinese 
vernacular may now be inferred from the fragment discovered 
by Prof. Pelliot in 1908 (see the "Nestorian Baptismal 
Hymn," p. 66, supra). 

However " heterodox " or " heretical " the Nestorians may 

have been, it is certain that they were the first 

torians as the to introduce Greek culture and Roman civiliza- 

oVwcstcrn 8 tion into the East be y ond the Roman Orient, 
civilization What Alexander von Humboldt says in his book 

"Cosmos" (Vol. II., pp. 57S-580), may well be 
quoted here to illustrate what the Nestorians accomplished : 

" In the more highly-gifted race of the Arabs, natural 
adaptability or mental cultivation, the geographical relations 
we have already indicated, and ancient commercial inter- 
course of the littoral districts with the highly civilized neigh- 
bouring states, all combine to explain how the irruption into 
Syria and Persia, and the subsequent possession of Egypt, 
were so speedily able to awaken in the conquerors a love 
for science and a tendency to the pursuit of independent 


" It was ordained in the wonderful Decrees by which the 
course of events is regulated, that the Christian sect of 
Nestorians which exercised a very marked influence on the 
geographical diffusion of knowledge, should prove of use to 
the Arabs even before they advanced to the erudite and 
contentious city of Alexandria, and that, protected by the 
armed followers of the Creed of Islam, these Nestorian doctrines 
of Christianity were enabled to penetrate far into Eastern 
Asia. The Arabs were first made acquainted with Greek 
literature through the Syrians, a kindred Semitic race, who 
had themselves acquired a knowledge of it only about a 
hundred and fifty years earlier through the heretical 
Nestorians. Physicians, who had been educated in the 
scholastic establishments of the Greeks, and in the celebrated 
school of medicine founded by the Nestorian Christians at 
Edessa in Mesopotamia, were settled at Mecca as early as 
Mohammed's time, and there lived on a footing of friendly 
intercourse with the Prophet and Abu-Becker. 

" The school of Edessa, a prototype of the Benedictine 
schools of Monte Cassino and Salerno, gave the first impulse 
to a scientific investigation of remedial agents yielded from 
the mineral and vegetable kingdoms. When these establish- 
ments were dissolved by Christian fanaticism, under Zeno 
the Isaurian, the Nestorians were scattered over Persia, 
wtiere they soon attained to political importance, and founded 
at Dschondisapur, in Khurdistan, a medical school, which 
was afterwards much frequented. They succeeded towards 
the middle of the seventh century, in extending their know- 
ledge and their doctrines as far as China, under the T'ang 
Dynasty — 572 years after Buddhism had penetrated thither 
from India in 67 A.D. 

"The seed of Western civilization, which had been 
scattered over Persia by learned monks and by the philo- 
sophers of the Neo-Platonist school at Athens persecuted 
by Justinian, had exercised a beneficial influence on the 


Arabs during their first Asiatic campaigns. However faint 
the sparks of knowledge diffused by the Nestorian monks 
might have been, their peculiar tendency to the investi- 
gation of medical pharmacy, could not fail to influence 
a race which had so long lived in the enjoyment of a 
free communion with nature, and which preserved a 
more vivid feeling for every kind of natural investigation, 
than the Greek and Italian inhabitants of cities. The 
cosmical importance attached to the age of the Arabs 
depends, in a great measure, on the national characteristics, 
which we are considering here. The Arabs, I would again 
remark, are to be regarded as the actual founders of 
physical science considered in the sense which we now 
apply to the words. 

" It is, no doubt, extremely difficult to associate any 
absolute beginning with any definite epoch of time in the 
mental history of the world, and of the intimately connected 
elements of Thought. 

" Individual luminous points of knowledge, and the pro- 
cesses by which knowledge was gradually attained, may be 
traced, scattered though they are through very early periods 
of time. How great is the gulf that separated Dioscorides, 
who distilled mercury from cinnabar, from the Arabian 
chemist, Dsiheber; how widely is Ptolemy, as an optician, 
removed from Alhazen ; but we must, nevertheless, date the 
foundation of the physical and even natural sciences, from 
the point where new paths were first struck out by many 
different investigations, although with unequal success." 

These words from Humboldt, the great German scholar 
of the nineteenth century, suffice to explain indirectly the 
existence of Greek or Byzantine elements in Chinese 

The Nestorians who struggled for ten centuries (i.e. from 
the end of the fifth to the close of the fifteenth century) 
in diffusing Graeco-Roman civilization and propagating their 


own Faith, succeeded in scattering the seeds of what, in the 
strictest sense, we may call " Western civilization," in Central 
Asia and the Far East. They had no small share in the creation 
of that Golden Age of China which during the seventh, eighth 
and ninth centuries most influenced Japan, and indirectly 
though it be, we are indebted to the Nestorians for some of 
the Western influences received about a thousand years ago. 

We have now reached the most difficult part of our study. 
The relation- Much has been written about the possible relation- 
torfanisnTto ship between Northern Buddhism and Christianity. 
Buddhism. But as our purpose is the study of the Nestorian 
Monument in China, we shall not enter the jungle of this 
great discussion. 

How far the Nestorians in China influenced Chinese 
Buddhism, or vice versd, is the question which concerns us. 

Of course, to answer this we are obliged to speak of the 
possible relationship of the two creeds in Central Asia, or in 
North-West India before either of them came to China, 
but for this and other related matters we must refer our 
readers to the valuable works by Dr. Timothy Richard of 
Shanghai, Dr. M. Anesaki, professor of Comparative Religion 
in the Imperial University of Tokyo, the late Rev. Arthur 
Lloyd, the Hon. Mrs. Gordon, Dr. M. Matsumoto, professor 
of Philosophy in the Imperial University of Kyoto, and 

Still a slight sketch of Buddhism may not be unhelpful. 

To begin with, Buddhism is professed by 450 millions of 
people in Ceylon, Siam, Burma, Nepal, Tibet, China, Korea, 
and Japan. 

The Buddhism embraced by the three former countries 
is generally known as " Southern Buddhism," whilst that 
professed by the three latter is called u Northern Buddhism." 

This appellation is based on the distinctive differences 
between the two great divisions of Indian Buddhism, which 
originated from the philosophical and ethical teachings of 



Siddhartha Gautama, the eldest son of Suddhodana, who 
was King of KapilavasU and Chief of the Sakyas, an Aryan 
clan, during the fifth century B.C., on the banks of Kohana, 
about 100 miles north of Benares and 50 miles south of the 
foot of the Himalaya Mountains. 

Even China and Japan possess over 5600 volumes of the 
Buddhist scriptures translated into Chinese, and in the old 
Korean temples there are innumerable sutras which are 
absolutely unknown in Japan, and which the present Governor- 
general, Count Terauchi, is doing his best to preserve by 
having them copied and photographed by experts. 

Ever since its introduction into Japan in the sixth century 
(552 A.D. or 522 A.D.), the Mahayana or Northern Buddhism 
has been divided into many branches, besides many more 
sects and several minor sects and divisions in each branch, so 
that it is almost impossible to compare Buddhism as a whole 
with Christianity, both having been divided into so many 
sects and sub-sects. 

Even to compare any of the Buddhist writings with those 
of Christianity is not at all an easy matter. The innumerable 
legions of Christian writings are overpowered by the still 
more numerous army of the Buddhist writings ! 

It is rather dangerous to say "such and such works of 
Buddhism resemble such and such works of Christian 
writers," unless we first get a clear idea of the dates, author- 
ship, and place of both the writings which we propose to 

We must first classify them according to their chrono- 
logical order and then separate all that belongs to the 
Hinayana, the old " Small Vehicle," of original or Southern 
Buddhism, as that is greatly different from the Mahayana, 
the New or Higher Buddhism of the north, which, like 
Christianity — the Neo-Judaism — teaches the doctrine of 
Salvation through faith in a personal Saviour. In other 
words, the Hinayana, which is commonly known as 



"Southern or Self-salvation-Buddhism," differs very much 
from Mahayana, the " Northern, or Salvation-through-Faith- 

Hinayana (literally "the Small Conveyance," i.e. the 
simplest method of salvation), is the primitive form of 
Buddhist dogma, being the first stage of the three phases 
of development through which the Buddhist System passed, 
viz. Hinayana, Mahayana and Madhyimayana (the Middle 

The characteristics of the Hinayana school are the pre- 
ponderance of active moral asceticism and the absence of 
metaphysical speculation and mysticism. What they call 
their Goal of Salvation, Nimokcha (literally, " the liberation 
or conception of liberty") is attained through observing the 
strictest and most rigid rules— 250 of which are recorded 
in the Prati-mokcha-sutra. In other words, they strive to 
attain " Arhatship by living the most strictly ascetic life like 
Gautama Buddha's personal disciples, or the Hermits who 
are striving to attain to Buddhaship or Enlightenment." 

This Hinayana school has little in common with Christi- 
anity—although some Christian writers borrowed certain 
materials from Indian sources as is shown by Albert J. 
Edmunds in his book, " Buddhist and Christian Gospels." 
This point is readily proved by the fact that the Hinayana 
which preceded the rise of Christianity by some five centuries, 
relies on self-negation and strict asceticism, whilst Christi- 
anity teaches salvation through faith in Jesus Christ whc 
is " the Son of man that came eating and drinking "—salvation 
without merit, but by faith alone. 

Now Mahayana, " the Great Chariot, or Ship of Salvation," 
is the school founded by Ashvaghosha and Nagardjuna, 
which flourished chiefly in Gandara, but which afterwards 
influenced more or less the whole Buddhist Church in Upper 


"The characteristics of this school are an excess of 


transcendental speculation tending to abstract nihilism and 
the substitution of fanciful degrees of meditation for the 
practical asceticism of the Hinayana school." 

Because this, the latest form of Buddhism, developed 
in North-West India and spread northwards to Central Asia 
and beyond, it is called " Northern Buddhism." 

It teaches that "Nirvana" is simply Exemption from 
Transmigration— the state of soul freed from either life or 
death and yet not far from either ; that both the pains and 
sorrows of this life are things that lead us gradually to 
Bodhisattva itself— only a step from human life to Buddha- 
hood ! The cares of this life are nothing but the Voice from 
on High bidding us u Children ! come home " ; that absolute 
is relative and relative is absolute ; that things are not what 
they seem; that equality is inequality and inequality is 
equality ; therefore, those who hold the Mahayana view of 
life will not be discouraged by the difference and inequality 
of the present, actual world, and thus they develop insight 
into Life's mysteries and attain "Enlightened Knowledge" 
in order to attain to absolutely complete morality and 

The 1 2th Buddhist Patriarch, Ashvagosha, a native of 
Benares, who converted King Kanishka, was formerly said 
to have lived 405 B.C., but modern scholars have proved the 
date to be in the first century a.d. (his death having occurred 
about the year A.D. 100). Nagardjuna, a native of Western 
India, became the fourteenth Buddhist Patriarch, and together 
with Ashvagosha is acknowledged to be the Founder of the 
Mahayana School. Nagardjuna was the first teacher of the 
Amitabha Doctrine, but is said to have founded the Mad- 
hyamika School, a System of sophistic nihilism, which 
dissolves every proposition into a thesis and its antithesis 
and denies both. 

As to the meaning of the Amitabha doctrine and its 
history and position in Japanese Buddhism, though much has 


been lately discovered by far-sighted writers, foreign and 
native, much still remains to be studfed. 

The Sanskrit word "Amitabha" means boundless or 
immeasurable Light or Life, and is rendered in the Chinese 
text, " Infinite Light," or " Immeasurable Life," or " Sovereign 
Teacher of the Western Heaven," or " Guide to the West," 
and sometimes as "Great Mercy and Great Sympathy," or 
" Embodiment of the Realm of Law." 

Originally, Amitabha was thought of as impersonal, and 
the ideal of Infinite Light ; but gradually this abstract ideal 
became materialized and after being amalgamated with Sun- 
worship in the cold regions of the north began to be a 
Personal expression of the First Cause \ Amitabha in short 
became a person. 

This doctrine reached Lo-yang on the Yellow River, the 
then capital of China, from Tokhara in Central Asia in A.D. 
147. The first Amitabha Sutra is said to have been translated 
by An-shih-kao (t£ }£ jtj), the heir to the Throne of 
Parthia, who became a monk in order that he might preach 
the Mahayana Gospel, and begged his way to Lo-yang. 

This An-shih-kao was no less a personage than Prince 
Arsakes of the Arsacidae (see p. 45, supra). But unfortu- 
nately his translation was already lost when the well-known 
catalogue of Buddhist works translated into Chinese called 

K'ai-yuan-mu-lu (^ 7C @ £§c) was com P^ e ^ m 73° A » D - 

Owing to the lack of authentic information as to its 
origin, and to the fact that Southern Buddhism (i.e. Hinayana) 
knows nothing of Amitabha, and that there are no traces 
whatever of the Vedic origin of the latter, many theories 
have been started and all sorts of conjectures hazarded, 
which have made the subject all the more intricate to 

Moreover, the Buddhist traditions were so confused about 
the original form of Amitabha that almost any theory 
became possible. 


One tradition describes Amitabha as an incarnation of 
the Ninth Son of Mahabidjna Djnanabhibhu (which means 
literally "Conqueror of All-pervading Wisdom") who by 
means of meditation had sixteen sons. Another legend says 
that Amitabha was the second son of a Chakravarti of the 
Lunar race. 

These ideas are all fabulous, but there is one theory 
which sounds more reasonable than the rest. It is that 
Amitabha, converted by a Buddha called Sahesvaradja 
(Free-existing-king), embraced the religious life and, having 
taken certain vows, was re-born as a Buddha in Sukhavati, 
the Paradise of the West, where Avalokiteshvara (Kuan-yin) 
and Mahasthanaprapta (Dai Seishi in Japanese) joined 

In other words, Amitabha is the chief of the Three 
Avalokiteshvaras (§| g ;£), (lit " On-looking (avalokita), 
sovereign (ishvara)," (Free manipulations), known as Ju-lai 
(Tathagata) (jjfl] ife), namely, Kuan-yin, Ta-shih-chih (Dai 
Seishi in Japanese) and Amitabha. 

Kuan-yin is the reflexion of Amitabha who, although not 
incarnating Himself, divides His body (^ 4j*) an( * mani- 
fests Himself in visible form. He is generally known as the 
Saviour of the faithful (IE H£ U ;fc # S§)— the Sovereign 
(Isvara) who looks on and listens to (avalokita) the voices or 
prayers (svara) of the world. 

Mahasthanaprapta (Mahasthama), who is known as Ta- 
shih-chih-Bodhisattva (Dai Seishi Bosatsu in Japanese), is 
the embodiment of Amitabha's " strength," or " might," and 
joined Amitabha and Kuan-yin in the Paradise of the West. 

Amitabha, the Father, Kuan-yin, the Saviour of the 
world, and Mahasthanaparapta (Dai Seishi Bosatsu) 

(^C §* 3i # i$|)» the S P irit of M »ght, actually form the 
Buddhist Trinity. 

It must be remembered that there is no Trinity in 
Hinayana, i.e. Southern Buddhism. 


The Trinity was a very old doctrine. It is said that 
Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, who flourished in the second 
century, was the first who used the word " Trinity " to express 
the Sacred Persons in the God-head, and the doctrine it 
expresses has been generally received amongst Christians, 
and was utilized by the early Fathers of the Church, in 
especial by St. Athanasius, who was the Primate of 

But here is another Trinity. Now the question arises, 
which is the original one ? Which is the older — the Buddhist 
or Christian Trinity? Can there be no relation at all 
between these ideas ? Are they " mere coincidences," as is 
often said ? These are the burning questions of to-day. 

But all-important as they are, they belong to the pre- 
Nestorian age, and therefore lie beyond our present sphere 
of research, which is concerned with the Nestorians and their 
Stone Monument in China. 

The Maha Vairochana Sutra, or Ta-jih Ching, ^ $g 

TheNes- (lit. "The Great Sun Scripture"), is the chief 

™«I!l!!i sutra of one sect of the Chinese Buddhists. 
China and 

Vairochana. Now "Vairochana" is one of the three 

bodies in the Three-fold Embodiment of Buddha known as 
" Trikaya." 

There are three interpretation of this word "Trikaya." 
It may mean (i) the three representations of Buddha, namely, 
his statue,* his teaching, and his stupa {Tower or relic- 
shrine) ; or it may mean (2) the historical Buddha as 
uniting in himself three bodily qualities, viz. Dharmakaya 
(the spiritual body), Sambhogokaya (the body of compensation 

* Compare with this the Tower used in the Divine Liturgy of the Gallican 
Church.— (See Duchesne's " Origines du Culte Chretien," pp. 206-288, publ. 
1908, Paris. English trans, of French 3rd edition, London, S.P.C.K., 1910. 
The Emperor Constantine gave a paten of gold to the Santhran Basilica. On 
it was a Tower of purest gold, surmounted by a richly jewelled Dove, the 
whole weighing 30 lbs.— (W. Lowrie, "Christian Archeology and Art," p. 347i 
pub. 1906. 


reflected spiritually, corresponding to his merits), and Nir- 
manakaya, a body capable of transformation, i.e. possess- 
ing the power of assuming any form or appearance in order 
to propagate the Gospel of Buddha ; or (3) it may mean 
Buddha, as having passed through, and yet still existing in 
three forms or persons, viz. (A) Shaky amuni, the earthly or 
historical Buddha, who is endowed with the Nirmanakaya ; 
(B) Lochana, who is the heavenly Dhyana Budhisattra 
endowed with the Sambhogakaya of absolute completeness 
in Dhyana ; (C) Vairochana, who is Dhyani Buddha, 
endowed with the Dharmakaya of absolute purity. 

The name. of Vairochana appears in the last of the three 
interpretations about "Trikaya." If we take the third inter- 
pretation^ Vairochana of the third theory corresponds to " His 
teaching " of the first theory and to the " Dharmakaya " of the 
second theory, whilst Sakyamuni answers to historical Buddha 
and Lochana to Sambhogakaya. So we may safely say that 
Vairochana corresponds to Dharmakaya (the Law Body) and 
that Sakyamuni corresponds to Buddha, and Lochana to 
Samgha — the Church — i.e. the cloistered monks and nuns. 

Corresponding thus to Dharma (the Law), the spiritual 
and material principles of the universe, Vairochana is there- 
fore an unchangeable or everlasting spiritual body, without 
beginning or end. 

Comparing this meaning with that of Amitabha, " Infinite 
Light," " Infinite Life/' or "the Embodiment of the Law," we 
can easily see that Vairochana and Amitabha are identical, 
whilst we can understand how readily those who intro- 
duced this Vairochana Religion, Ta-jih Chiao (^ £J ^), 
into Japan — first in the seventh and then again in the 
beginning of the ninth century — could avail themselves of 
Shinto,* the national cult of the Land of the Rising Sun, 

• According to Aston (Shinto, "The Way of the Gods," p. 316), "The 
Emperor Shomu of Japan dispatched Gyogi Bosatsu to Ise with a relic of Buddha 
as an offering to the Sun-Goddess. Gyogi spent seven days and nights in prayer 


which was based on the worship of the Sun-Goddess, 
Amaterasu Omikami — the God who is the Author and 
Dispenser of Light, and the Incarnation of Love. 

When the Nestorian missionaries arrived at the capital of 
China in 636 A.D., there were already several Buddhist sects 
there ; at least twelve had been in existence in China, before 
the end of the seventh century. 

Classifying the Buddhist sects in China by their date 
with reference to the coming of the Nestorians to China we 
find that the sect (1) (jg §g £g) Nieh-p'an (Nirvana) (386 
**) J W (Jfc % ^) Ch'eng-shih (401 A.D.) i (3) (^ g) 
Lu (Vinaya) (405 a.d.) ; (4) (B£ f& $3*) Shih-lun (508 a.d.) ; 
(5) (H g) Ch'an (Dhyana) (527 A.D.); (6) (H ffc ^) 
San-lun (589 A.D.); (7) (lg jg| *g) Hua-yen (557 A.D.) ; 
( 8 ) (>£t3 >k) T'ien-t'ai (551 a.d.), precede the arrival of 
the Nestorians ; whilst (1) (ffc ^g £j2) Fa-hsiang (640 A.D.) ; 
(2) (^ ± ^) Ching-t'u (641 A.D.) ; (3) and (ft "g ^) 
Chen-yen (716 A.D.) are, so to speak, post-Nestorian Buddhist 

And by the time the Nestorians arrived at Hsi-an-fu, the 
T'ien-t'ai sect had grown very strong through amalgamating 
the comparatively small sects of the Nirvana, Ch'eng-shih, 
Hua-yen, and Shih-lun. 

Through the influence of this T'ien-t'ai sect, the Chinese 
had been already familiarized with the name of Vairochana 
when the Nestorian monks began their mission, and when 
they erected their Commemorative Monument in 781 A.D., 
the Vairochana Religion (as we know both from Kobo 
Daishi who was at Hsi-an-fu in 804-806 and Dengyo Daishi 
who was at Mount T'ien-t'ai (^ j^J jlj) in 804-805 A.D.) 
was very flourishing through the efforts of the three great 

under a tree close to the gate of the Shrine, and was then vouchsafed an oracle in 
the form of Chinese verse, couched in purely Buddhistic phraseology. It spoke 
of the Sun of Truth enlightening the long night of Life and Death, and of the 
Moon of Eternal Reality dispersing the clouds of Sin and Ignorances." 


monks, S'ubhak'arasimha (^§p |R§ J3I), Amogha Vadjra 
Pfi Q ± IH)r Vadjra Bodhi (± jU %g) 9 and others; 
and by the middle of the eighth century the Ta-jih Chiao 

(^C B ^t) was a11 ln a11 to the Buddhist in China. 

Bearing these facts in mind, let us proceed to examine 
the Chinese appellation of Assyrian Christianity which is 
commonly called " Nestorianism." The Chinese name for 
this form of Christianity is " Ching Chiao " or " King Kiao." 
("Ching" is the Pekingese or Northern Mandarin pronuncia- 
tion.) The word " Ching " means " Luminous " or " Bright 
Light," and the word " Chiao " means u Teaching" or "Re- 
ligion." The Inscription says : " This true and eternal system 
of doctrine is wonderful, and difficult to describe. But its 
merits and use are manifest and brilliant ; and so we make 
an effort and give it the name of * Ching Chiao ' (Luminous 

We said that the Vairochana Religion was known in 
China and Japan at that time as the Dai Nichi Kyo, or 
Ta-jih Chiao (^ Q |£), which means "The Great-Sun- 

From the similarity of the characters used to represent 
them, the " Ching Chiao " or Assyrian Christianity, and the 
"Ta-jih Chiao," the Vairochana Religion, are likely to be 
confused. To the educated Chinese who could read and 
write the different Chinese characters the two names must 
have been far more perplexing than to the illiterate classes 
for the following reasons : 

Great scholars like Dr. Legge, Mr/ Wylie, and others are 
all agreed in translating the Chinese word "ching" (jjf;), 
by " illustrious "— " Ching Chiao," the " Illustrious Religion." 
This rendering is partly correct, because "Ching" (jp;) 
corresponds, in its secondary meaning, to the English word 
"brilliant." But we must remember that the original and 
chief meaning of the word "Ching" (j|£) is "great," and not 
" illustrious." 


This point is important. This can clearly be seen from 
the fact that the Chinese character "Ching" (Jj^) was not 
given for the English word "illustrious" in "The English 
and Chinese Dictionary " ( j^ gp ^ jgL), edited by the 
famous scholar, Lobscheid, some sixty years ago. He 
correctly gave the Chinese character "Ching" (Jj£) for the 
English word "great." 

Again, in the Book of Shih-ching (f^f j|j£), the Chinese 
Book of Songs, we frequently meet with the phrase "Ching-fu " 
(JS )S§)' wmch means, literally, "the great happiness," or 
"great blessing," "ching" standing for "great" and "fu" 
for " happiness " or " blessing." 

So "Ching Chiao" at first sight may mean "Great 
Religion," but to understand the true meaning of the term as 
used by the author of the Inscription, we must go deeper, and 
dissect or analyze the Chinese character itself and examine 
its component parts, which are, in this case, two independent 
characters, viz. the character "Jih" (Q), "Sun" and the 
character " ching " ( j£), " great." This " ching " ( jji) being 
the root, so to speak, of the other "ching" (jg;), its sound 
predominates even after " Sun " and " Ching " composed one 
word— the other and newer word "Ching" (jg;) being the 
name used for the Assyrian Church in China. 

From these facts, it may be surmised that "Ching Chiao" 
(the name for the Assyrian Christianity) not only meant 
"Great-Religion," but also " The Sun-Great-Religion ! " which 
appellation is practically the same as the Chinese name given 
to the Vairochana Religion, " The Great-Sun-Religion ! " 

That the Chinese character " Ching " (j^) contains the 
two characters, "jih" ( 0) and " ching " (^), there is no doubt. 
But a few words may be needed to prove that "ching" (j^) f 
the root of the other " ching " ( jg;), which is a component part 
of the Chinese character used to represent Assyrian Christi- 
anity (^ f^r), truly and honestly means "great" as we insist, 
because some may consider our explanation too far-fetched. 


All that can be said on this point is clearly set forth in 
the famous " K'ang-hsi Dictionary » (J§| $$ ^ Jgl), which 
states: "The character (^) is pronounced 'ching' and 

means 'great' (#. ^ M ± &)" 

Again, in one of the writings by the famous scholar Yang 
Hsiung (^ $f|) in the second century A.D. we read : " In the 
North of Yen (3^) and in the country of Ch'u (|£), a great 
man is called * ching ' (j£), t£, ' ching' means a great man in 
Yen and Ch'u. And again, the Royal city or Capital where 
an emperor or a king resides is called ' Ching-shih * (j|? gj|j) 
in Chinese. In this case, 'ching' stands for 'great* and 
1 shih ' for ' population ' or ■ crowd.' And finally, the greatest 
possible numerical name in Chinese is ' ching ' ( jjT) ; ten 
million is 'ching' ($r £. + ffi % %. + % % £), 
but one million is ' chao * (^) . whilst two Chinese characters, 
'fish' and 'great/ make up the character of 'whale' 

(IK). '•'• <& fish ' ^ great)." 

These quotations from reliable authorities suffice to prove 
that "ching" (^), part of the character "Ching" (jj), 
which is used to represent the Assyrian Church, truly and 
honestly means "great," and that what we say about the 
name of " Ching Chiao," is not, perhaps, too far-fetched. 

To return to our former question, " Which is the older, 
the Ching Chiao or the Tah-jih Chiao?" The name Ta-jih 
Chiao is older than the term "Ching Chiao" by twenty years 
at least, for the word " Ching Chiao " was certainly not in 
use until A.D. 745, whilst, so far as can be ascertained from 
the Chinese writings, " Ta-jih Chiao " was used in the trans- 
lation of the Vairochana Sutra as early as A.D. 724. 

To call one foreign religion "Ching Chiao," and the other 
" Ta-jih Chiao" made no difference to a Chinaman in Hsi-an- 
fu, who would perceive no more difference between the 
Buddhist and Christian religions than did the European 
Friars and travellers in the Middle Ages who (as Sir Henry 


Yule tells us in his book, "Cathay and the Way thither") 
constantly made the same confusion owing to the great 
similarity between Buddhism and Christianity in Central Asia! 

It seems to us that the Nestorians in China, in adopting 
the title "Ching Chiao "— " Sun-Great-Religion " *— availed 
themselves of the existing influence of the Vairochana 
Religion which was then extremely strong in Hsi-an-fu. 

The Nestorian Church, commonly known in China as 
" the Persian Religion," or " the Messiah- Religion," was first 
called " the Persian Ching Chiao " — " the Sun-Great-Religion 
of Persia " — in the Imperial Rescript of the Emperor Hsiian- 
Tsung in A.D. 745. 

In short, Vairochana Teaching was introduced into 
China as early as 575 A.D. When Chih-k'ai developed the 
Pien-t'ai sect, he based his teaching on the Saddharma- 
pundarika Sutra (££=§1 $£) (Japanese Hokekyo) whose 
supreme Buddha is Vairochana, but the Chinese name " Ta- 
jih Chiao " (^ £J ^) for Vairochana did not come into use 
until 725 A.D. 

It is said that this Vairochana transmitted his teaching 
to Sakyamuni, who again transmitted the same to Maitreya, 
the Buddhist Messiah ; whilst Maitreya taught Asamgha, 
a monk of Gandara, who was miraculously transported to 
the Heaven of Joy where Maitreya dwelt ; and through 
Asamgha's lecture-hall this teaching of Vairochana became 
known to the world, so the Buddhist authorities say. The 
date of Asamgha, as being the last half of the fourth century, 
is important. 

* Luminous religion. A penny of Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria, a.d. 670- 
685, bears a radiated cross, and the one word "LUX" or Light, thus pointing 
very expressively to the recent introduction of the light of Christianity into the 
north of England by Paulinus, in the time of King Edwin, and sweetly suggesting 
the declaration of the Lord Jesus, "lam the Light of the World : he that 
believeth in Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life." 
(From p. 22 of a most suggestive handbook published by the S.P.C.K., 191 1, 
entitled "Christian Teaching of Coin Mottoes," by Dr. Win. Allan and Prof. 
J. Zimmermann.) 


The T'ien-t'ai sect (^ j§J ^) maintains these points 
about Vairochana as against the Chen-yen sect, which 
declares that the revelation was made to Nagarjuna * 
through the prison or cage in the " Iron Tower in Southern 
India." f 

Whether the T'ien-t'ai or the Chen-yen claim is correct 
does not concern us very much. But it is certain that the 
Nestorian claim in China does not go further back than 
635 A.D. So it is safer to conclude that the Nestorian 
missionaries adopted the name " Ching Chiao " long after the 
Vairochana Religion had become " Ta-jih Chiao." 

We presume that one of the many difficult problems 
which faced the pioneer missionaries of the Assyrian Church 
in China, twelve hundred years ago, was to find a suitable 
name by which to describe their teaching to the Chinese. 
" The name of a thing," as the Chinese sage taught his 
disciples, " is the guide to the thing itself." To find a suit- 
able name is a good beginning; and a good beginning 
means the work half done. 

At least three rules might have guided us in a similar 
position: (1) To find a suitable name to describe the 
Religion of Jesus Christ who is the " Light of the World," 
and " the Sun of Righteousness." 

We note this feeling expressed in the Inscription : " Its 
merits and use are manifest and brilliant " ; "He hung up 
the Bright (great) Sun and broke open the abodes of Dark- 
ness." Any name which does not express this truth is not 
a good one. 

(2) The Nestorian monks must have considered how best 

* It is important to note that some authorities affirm that it was not in Southern 
India but at the Great College at Khotan on the Central Asian route that Nagar- 
juna obtained his Mahayana teachings. 

t For full details refer to "The New Testament of Higher Buddhism," by 
Rev. Timothy Richard, D.D., LL.D., pub. Edinburgh, and to "The Messiah, 
the Desire of all Nations," and to " World-Healers, or the Lotus Gospel and its 
Bodhisattvas," by the Hon. Mrs. Gordon, pub. Tokyo, 1913. 


to preserve the sound of " K," the first sound of the word — 
" Christ " or " Christian," for it was at Antioch, the capital 
of Syria (and the Christian metropolis after the Fall of 
Jerusalem), that our Lord's disciples — " the Men and Women 
of the Way " — were called " Christians." 

" Antioch," says Prof. A Harnack, " was a great city for 
giving nicknames. Here Christ was called l Chi' whilst 
Constantine the Great was nicknamed • Kappa.' " 

For these monks then who came from Syria, it was most 
natural that they should try to preserve the "k" sound in 
the title of their religion. " Ching Chiao " was the right name 
for Christianity according to its sound, because " Ching " was 
pronounced " King " in the eighth century as all students 
know ; and even now the sound of " King" is preserved for 
the same character in Southern China. 

(3) The monks must have pondered how best to fortify 
their position against the Confucianism, Taoism, and 
Buddhism, then so very strong and firmly rooted in the 
field. Humanly speaking, the success or failure of a Mission 
in a foreign field largely depends on the name by which the 
new Religion is known. By adopting the name of " Ching 
Chiao" (with the old sound "King-kiao" (jj| fg£), " Sun- 
Great-Religion," the Nestorian missionaries could at once 
fulfil all these three conditions. 

Moreover, the Syriac monks adopted ordinary Buddhist 
terms to represent " Catholicos " (J£ ^j£), "Episcopos" 
CJCf8)» "Monk" (fg"), "Archimandrite or Archdeacon" 
(^pi ), "Monastery" (^), "Scriptures" (f&), "Image" 
(^^), etc. Dean Stanley, in his "Eastern Church," 
points out that all these ideas came to Europe from the 

Even the epithet commonly used for Sakyamuni ("f|h ^T), 
i.e. " Honoured by the Universe," or " World-Honoured One," 
was employed by the Syrian missionaries to describe our 


Again, the three Chinese characters used for " Eloha " in 
the Inscription (ppj jj|| ffjlf ) are, no doubt, taken from 
the Buddhist Scriptures in which "Arhat" or "Arhan," 
" the Fruit of Buddha," is represented as " A-lo-han." 

In the Chinese translation of the Amitayur Dhyana Sutra 
we find exactly the same words as are used on the Nestorian 

stone. <£ ft t-ifr* & m m & ffi g pb mm 

which may be translated : 

" Therefore, meditate ye with all your heart and vividly 
realize ye that BuddJia, who is known as Tathagata (the Coming 
One, i.e. j£p ?jfc), or as Arhat> the One who deserves worship 

(IK ft)' or as Sam y ak sambuddha (HiHi P&)> the 
One who has perfect and universal knowledge/' (See p. 188, 

note 8.) 

Through these and other facts, we perceive how keen and 
zealous the pioneer missionaries of the Assyrian Church were 
in trying to win souls for Christ. Surely, in coming to China, 
braving the dangers of the Great Desert and travelling so far, 
they followed the example set by that great Apostle to the 
Gentiles, who said : "That I may by all means win some, to 
the Jews I became a Jew, and to the Greeks, a Greek." 
Hence it is no wonder that the Nestorian missionaries in 
China succeeded so well twelve hundred years ago. 

From A.D. 67 when Buddhism was introduced into China 
The Ancestor, after King Kanishka's great Council at Gandara 
worship of t A D IO q 7 w hen the famous Ou-yang Hsiu 

Chinese r v ~ /• . * 1 

Buddhism, (gjr g| A|c), one of the greatest Confucian scholars, 

fluence exer- is said to have been converted to Buddhism, there 
cised thereon was a p er j 0( } G f over a thousand years, during which 
Christianity. Buddhism in China suffered four serious perse- 
cutions known in Chinese history as "The Persecutions of 
Three Wu emperors and OneTsuog " (}jj£ ^ — • ^ ^1 Hfl)' 
who respectively in the years 446 A.D., 547 A.D., 845 A.D., 
955 A.D. severely persecuted the Buddhists. 


Buddhism was hated by Confucian scholars, and despised 
by the Taoists. With such extreme vicissitudes, the fate 
of Mahayana Buddhism was far from promising. Indeed it was 
extremely doubtful whether it would ever establish itself at all. 

The grounds for the anti-Buddhist movements in China 
were fairly numerous. But one thing is clear, viz. that 
both Confucian scholars and Taoists made very good use 
of Ancestor- worship to inflame the popular prejudice against 

It may be readily understood how the feeling towards 
Ancestor- worship, which is ingrained in the hearts of the 
Chinese, was antagonistic to the pessimistic and ascetic ideas 
of the original Hinayana Buddhism. 

Certain scholars (Dr. S. Murakami, for instance) attribute 
the four above-mentioned great persecutions to the Taoists 
only ; but to the' writer, it seems that the Taoists simply took 
advantage of the anti-Buddhist sentiment of the populace 
and utilized the dominant feeling concerning the national 
cult to serve their own ends. Without this antagonistic 
feeling, the Taoists could scarcely have been so successful 
in ousting the Buddhists. 

The chief hindrance to the propagation of Buddhism in 
China was its attitude towards Ancestor-worship, which by 
no means satisfied the Chinese. The Buddhist teaching 
about the After-death was abhorrent to the Chinese, e.g. the 
Buddhist mode of treating the dead, cremation being the 
most unwelcome of things in China. Chinese scholars often 
express their horror of it. 

Buddhist influence, however, was in the ascendant ever 
since the second persecution in 547 A.D., as the Emperors both 
of the Sui Dynasty and of the early T'ang favoured it ; and 
from the close of the seventh to the opening of the ninth 
century Buddhism carried all before it — the Buddhists 
eclipsing both the Confucians and Taoists in Imperial, as 
as well as in popular, favour. 


This is incidentally confirmed by the fact that many of 
the Chinese classical writings have obtained the Imperial 
sanction to be called by the title of Canonical Works. 

For example, Wen-chung's writings (^SC^f*"?) were 
named "The True Sutra of the Enlightened Mystery" 
(^fi j£ M 15) > Lieh-tzu's writings (^|J ^), were entitled 
"The True Canon of Ascension into the Void" (Jljl jf|| S jjft?) ; 
those of Chuang-tzii (jjj* -f), "The Canon of Nan-hua " 
(||J |p lit j^), whilst Han-shan-tzu's collection of Poetry 
(S|: ill "F" ^) found its way into the Chinese Collection 
of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist Canon ! This proves how 
everything was tinged with Buddhist colouring during the 
seventh and eighth centuries, and how strong the influence 
of Buddhism was in those days ! 

Meanwhile, a great number of Buddhist Sutras were 
brought into China by the efforts of Hsiian-tsang (^ S*:) 
(633 A.D.), Vajra Bodhi (<£ $]|J |«) (719 a.d.), Subhaka- 
rasima (|| ^ g)(7i6 A.D.),Amogha-Vajra(^ 2*3 ^ |g|J) 
(719 A.D.), Prajna (^ ^) (782 a.d.) and others who trans- 
lated and wrote commentaries on some of them. 

Never in the history of Missions do we find a more active 
man than Amogha was in using his pen in translating or in 
copying the sutras. Nor was there ever a better field than 
the capital of the Great T'ang for the appreciation of foreign 

There were numerous reasons for this growing influence, 
such as the personal character of the Buddhist leaders, and 
the amount of foreign intercourse at the time which disposed 
the minds of the Chinese to listen to the foreign teachers of 
Religion. But over and beyond these minor, indirect, causes, 
the increased popularity of Buddhism was (we think) mainly 
due to a compromise effected by the Buddhist leaders who, 
desiring to harmonize their religion with the old Chinese cult 
of Ancestor-worship, succeeded in overcoming the anti- 
Buddhist feeling (so long a stumbling-block in their way) 



by adopting and adapting Ancestor-worship in such a way 
as to meet the Chinese sentiment.* 

Making a new departure from their original custom, 
Buddhists led the way in harmonizing the ancient Chinese 
Ancestor-worship with Buddhism, and thus brought Ullam- 
bana (-f ^j§ j§£)> the " Festival of departed Souls," and the 
worship of Vairochana into kinship with the old national 
cult, and with that of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, the 
" Heaven " of the Chinese.f 

This fact can be better appreciated through comparing 
the similar harmonization effected between Shinto and 
Buddhism by those Japanese monks — Gyogi Bosatsu, Kobo 
Daishi, and others — who had studied passing events in China. 
The Honchi Sui Jaku (;£. ^ ||| j^£), " Re-incarnation of 
the same Sage in different lands," or * The theory that a Sage 
has no fixed name," and the Ryobu Shinto, "the harmoni- 
zation of Buddhism with Shinto by compromise," were in- 
troduced into Japan as the result of the concordat between 
Buddhism and the old Chinese cults in China and Japan. 

With regard to the introduction of Vairochana worship, 
we may mention Dharmaraksha and Kumarajiva who respec- 
tively translated the Saddharmapundarika Sutra in 286 a.d. 
and 406 A.D., and Jnanagupta and Dharmagupta who respec- 
tively translated the same Sutra between 561-592 and 590- 
616 A.D., and those who translated the Commentaries on the 
Saddharmapundarika Sutra — Bodhiruchi and others between 
486-534 A.D. ; Ratnamati and his monks in 508 A.D., whilst 
Amogha-Vajra stands above all others in popularizing u the 
Festival of departed Souls," and in harmonizing Indian 
Buddhism with the Chinese ancestral worship, t 

* It was for the express purpose of endeavouring to harmonize Religion that 
the Japanese emperor Kammu sent the young scholar monks Kobo Daishi and 
Dengyo Daishi to China. 

t Cf. the statement in the great T'ang emperor's Edict concerning A-lo-pen 
and his monks A.D. 638. 

X " Compare this with the celebration of All Saints which was extended to 


Amogha-Vajra, u the Vajra which is not hollow " (known 
in China as Pu-k'ung Chin-kang, and Japan as Fuku Kongo 
(yf* |g ^s pj|!j) ), was a Sramana (monk) from North India, 
who followed the mystic teachings attributed to Sumantab- 
hadra (^ j^), and accompanied his teacher Vajra Bodhi 
(^ p5)|J ^) to China in 719 A.D., where in 752 A.D. he suc- 
ceeded him as Patriarch of the Yogacharya school. 

As the Chinese Emperor desired to have some more 
new Buddhist scriptures — many having been lost on the 
voyage when Vajra Bodhi and Amogha came to China — 
Amogha travelled for five years (741-746) through India 
and Ceylon and brought back to Ch'ang-an (i.e. Hsi-an-fu) 
over five hundred Sutras and Sastras previously unknown 
to the Chinese Buddhists. He published 108 works from 
his own pen, including translations and originals. 

Amogha had spent fifty years or more in China before 
he decided to establish " the Feast of departed Souls." He 
served three emperors, viz. Hsiian-Tsung (713-756 A.D.), 
Su-Tsung (756-^763 A.D.) and Tai-Tsung (763-7 79 A.D.). 

It was Hsiian-Tsung who would not permit Amogha-Vajra 
to return to India in 749 A.D., while it was Su-Tsung who 
gave him the title of Tripitaka Bhadanta (^ ]§r ^f? H> Wti 
in 760 A.D. ; and it was Tai-Tsung who conferred on him 
the rank of a Minister of State ( p] 2*5), and the highest 
posthumous title when Amogha died in 772 A.D. 

These three emperors all received Murddhabhichikta from 
him. This Murddhabhichikta, according to Dr. Eitel, 
literally means " the washing of the head " (^ t§), and is 
done by sprinkling water on the crown. This is u a ceremony 
common in Tibet in the form of infant Baptism " as practised 

the Frankish Empire in 825, after having been observed in Rome for two 
centuries, and its celebration fixed for the 1st November, the verse *gentem 
auferte perfidam credentium de finibus ' was added to the hymn with reference to 
the Normans and Saracens, who were laying waste both the north-west of Gaul 
and the south of Italy." — " The Roman Breviary, its Sources and History," pp. 68, 
240, 251, by Dom Jules Bandot, pub. 1909. 


in Christian churches, but administered in China and Japan at 
the investiture of distinguished patfons of the Shingon sect. 
The relation between Kechien-Kwanjo, i.e. "to-make-relation- 
ship-with-Buddha-baptism " of the Shingon-shu or Chen-yen 
sect — which may be received by any one and which resembles 
Infant Baptism — and Christian baptism offers a most sug- 
gestive subject for study. A chapter in the Hon. Mrs. 
Gordon's book, "World-healers," entitled "The Mystery of 
Illumination," is devoted to it. 

Like all the great Pioneer Monks of the West, Amogha 
Vajra was a friend of the Court as well as of the peasantry. 
From his long experience in China and intimate study of 
Chinese thought and literature, he perceived quite clearly 
that it was impossible to win the Chinese masses to Buddhism 
unless he could discover some means of winning their 
sympathies by utilizing the national cult — in particular 
Ancestor-worship, on which all their moral systems (whether 
Confucian or Taoist) hang — and harmonizing it with the 
teachings of Buddhism ; he therefore resolved to revive the 
Ullambana festival of departed Souls. 

This feast is now kept annually in July (the seventh 
month of the Old Style) in both Buddhist and Taoist temples. 
No other religious festival is so popular, and the reason is 
not far to seek ; it appeals to the tenderest feelings in the 
human heart. 

The Ullambana Sutra (first translated by Dharmarakcha, 
a native of Tokhara, between 265-316 a.d.), gives to the whole 
ceremonial the so-called authority of Sakyamuni and supports 
it" by the alleged experiences of his chief disciple Ananda, 
who was said to have appeased pretas (^ j^), the unrestful 
departed souls, by food offerings presented to Buddha and 
Samgha (the cloistered monks). It was by this means that 
Maudgalyayana (g ^jj J^) brought back his mother to 
earth, who had been reborn in Hell as a Preta. (See Dr. 
Kitel's Hand-book of "Chinese Buddhism," pp. 185-186.) 


But prior to the end of the seventh century, its growth 
was slow and tedious. It was popularized mainly through 
the far-sighted and deeply-instructed Buddhist leaders, such 
as Amogha Vajra and others who succeeded in reviving and 
giving the institution a special impetus, whilst the popularity 
of the influential Yogacharya School helped Amogha and 
his missionary friends greatly in carrying out his plan. 

But it must be remembered that all authorities agree that 
the whole theory of Ullambana with its ideas of intercessory 
prayers, priestly liturgies, requiems, and Ancestor- worship 
is entirely foreign to the ancient Hinayana, or Southern 
Buddhism, and is peculiar to the Mahayana. 

Thus Amogha proved negatively to the Chinese mind, 
that although Buddhism approves of cremation, it does not 
neglect the dead. Again, he proved positively that the 
Buddhists do honour the dead more than the Confucians 
or the Taoists who can do nothing for their parents after 
death, or in the life beyond the grave when their parents 
are in Purgatory, by proving that in " the Festival of departed 
Souls " the Buddhists fulfilled the ideal of Ancestral worship 
far better than either Confucianists or Taoists could do ; and 
hence he succeeded in establishing what is now known as 
" Chinese Buddhism " apart from Indian Buddhism. 

Hsiian-tsang (^ ij*:), the Chinese Pilgrim, successfully 
introduced Indian Buddhism into China, while an Indian 
monk, Amogha Vadjra, succeeded in grafting Chinese Budd- 
hism upon the Chinese cult ! 

If we compare Hsiian - tsang with Gyogi Bosatsu 

(It 35? i§r iH)> or with Kob ° Daism * (5£ 2£ ^c %\ who 

so successfully introduced Chinese Buddhism into Japan, we 
may also compare the work accomplished by Amogha 
Vadjra with that of Shinran and Nichiren Shonin who 
succeeded in making Japanese Buddhism a thing apart from 
either Chinese or Indian Buddhism. 

When Amogha Vadjra arrived in China, it was the period 


in which almost all the elements of culture were being intro- 
duced into Japan from China. Ever since A.D. 607 when the 
first Japanese envoy, Ono-no-imoko (/]> |Pf ££ ^) and his 
party were sent to China, numbers of young Japanese had 
been sent there by the Japanese Government to study 
until 894 A.D., when the famous Sugawara-no-michizane 
(^ M ill |ft)» having been appointed as Envoy to Ch'ang- 
an, was prevented from going by the great war in China. 

When Kobo Daishi and Dengyo Daishi went to China — 
thirty years after Amogha's death — " the Festival of departed 
Souls " was at the height of its popularity. No wonder then 
that this Ullambana — O-Bon-Matsuri — was at once popu- 
larized in Japan by these monks on their return from China, 
and that thereby the propagation of Buddhism was greatly 
facilitated among the Japanese who had been repelled by the 
anti-ancestral attitude of Buddhism. The majority of the 
Japanese could not tolerate the idea of cremating one's father 
or mother. Neither could they conceive how their beloved 
parents could be in Purgatory.* 

But the Feast of departed Souls was the very weapon that 
the Buddhist missionaries required to overcome this opposi- 
tion. That Buddhism, taking Chinese colour and adopting 
the national cult of Ancestor-worship, took a leaf from the 
Assyrian Christians' book may be fairly conjectured from the 
fact of their mutual friendliness ; the Buddhist teachers would 
naturally observe that the Assyrian Christians offered prayers 
both for the living and for the dead seven times a day, as 
mentioned in the Nestorian Inscription by Adam ( jj^ ^jf), 
who composed it and also co-operated with Prajna, the 
Kashmir monk, in Hsi-an-fu, in translating a Buddhist Sutra 
as already described. 

The Inscription on the stone tells us how the Emperor 
Hsiian-Tsung, who was an intimate friend of Amogha and 

* St. Francis Xavier found the same feelings when he came to Yamaguchi in 
Japan in A.D. 1552. 


had received the Buddhist Baptism from him, was a generous 
patron of the Nestorian Convent. 

It also describes how Su-Tsung rebuilt the Nestorian 
temples, and how Tai-Tsung (who gave Amogha a very 
high posthumous honour) was so amiable as to invite the 
Nestorians or " Luminous People " to his birthday party. 
These are convincing proofs of the Imperial friendliness to 
both religions — Nestorian Christianity and Buddhism. 

The Inscription says : " Hsiian-Tsung (713-755 A.D.), the 
1 Emperor of the Perfect Way ' ordered Prince Ning-kuo 
(38J |5j ^) and four other Imperial Princes to go to the 
Blessed Building (i.e. Church) and rebuild the altars. 

" The consecrated beams which had been torn away from 
their places were thus again set up, and the Sacred stones 
which had been thrown down were replaced. In the begin- 
ning of the Period T'ien-pao (742-755 A.D.), orders were 
given to the Great-General Kao Li-shih (J^ j] J^), to send 
faithful portraits of the five Emperors and have them placed 
securely in the monastery with a gift of a hundred pieces of 

"And again, in the third year of the same period (744 
A.D.), in the Kingdom of Ta-ch'in there was a monk called 
Wagis (i.e. George) (jfQ ^ ), who came to pay homage to 
the Emperor. An Imperial proclamation was issued for the 
priests Abraham (jg| ^ ), Ephraim (^ |jgj) and others— 
seventeen in all, along with the Bishop George to perform a 
service of merit (i.e. thanksgiving and prayer) in • the Hsing- 
ch'ing Palace' (f| |g ^f). 

" The Accomplished and Intelligent Emperor Su-Tsung 
(756-762 a.d.) rebuilt the Convents of the Luminous 
Religion in the five districts of Ling-wu ( J|| ^) and else- 

"The Emperor Tai-Tsung (763-779 A.D.), accomplished 
and martial, gradually signalized his ascension to the throne, 
and conducted his affairs without difficulty. Always when 



his birthday recurred he presented celestial incense wherewith 
to announce to Heaven the meritorious deeds accomplished 
by him, and sent provisions from his own table to gladden 
(or do honour to) the congregation of the Luminous Religion." 

These quotations from the Inscription show how much 
the Chinese Emperors favoured the Assyrian Christians, and 
may suggest that u the Imperial Birthday Festival " — " pray- 
ing for the living" — which was instituted in A.D. 729, was of 
Nestorian origin, and that what is written in Nien Ch'ang's 
11 Biographical History of Buddhism " about the Emperor 
Tai-Tsung's having had a service performed likewise by a large 
company of Buddhist monks on his birthday, means that the 
Buddhists were admitted to the ceremony for the first time 
in 765 A.D. whilst, according to the Chinese Annals, a number 
of Confucian scholars were for the first time admitted to 
this ceremony in 797 A.D. 

We in Japan had very much the same Festival instituted 
in 775 A.D. for the first time, i.e, forty-six years after it had 
been started in China, and twenty-nine years after the visit of a 
Persian physician whom we have identified with Priest Milis 
of the Nestorian Inscription. Besides, we have another 
ceremony of public prayer, which was introduced by Kobo 
Daishi, and continues to this day. This prayer service is 
held at the Imperial Palace in behalf of the Emperor's long 
life. Formerly this special prayer was offered on His Majesty's 
birthday, but the celebration now takes place at the New 
Year, usually in the second week of January ; the privilege 
of conducting the service given to Kobo Daishi was confirmed 
to his successors, the monks of the Shingon shu, in whose 
hands it still remains. 

All the testimonies from China and Japan agree that 
Assyrian Christians and Buddhists were on exceedingly good 
terms in China, and that they learned and imitated one 
another's good points even if they were not actually one and 
the same in Faith, as some scholars have supposed. 


Both being foreign religions which sometimes enjoyed the 
same Imperial patronage, and at others suffered the same 
persecutions, they were, as a rule, sympathetic to each other. 
We may venture to say that the Assyrian Christian mis- 
sionaries throve under the wings of Buddhism, whilst the 
Buddhists, under the leadership of so great and broad-minded 
a teacher as Amogha, availed themselves of some Nestorian 

Prayers for the dead and the use of " I-hai " (^ f$) or 
"Rei-hai" (||| J}^), that is to say diptychs, may have been 
learned by the Buddhists from their Nestorian friends, for this 
grayer for the dead, like their " prayer for the living," was one 
of the characteristics of the Assyrian Church as well as a 
Jewish custom which is continued in the synagogues to 
this day. Nay, more, it was the established custom in the 
whole Catholic Church until it was ignored by the Protestant 
Reformation in the sixteenth century. 

The Inscription says : " Seven times a day they meet for 
worship and praise for the great protection of the living and 
the dead" " Those who are living flourish ; and those who 
are dead have joy." " The dead are buried and laid to rest 
in their graves." " To save both the quick and the dead, the 
Ship of Great Mercy was launched." "Both the quick and 
the dead safely sailed over to the other side " (of the River, i.e. 
of Death, or what the Buddhists term " crossing over the 
Ocean of Sin and Sorrow to the Further "). 

Such passages prove that the Assyrian Church in China 
found no necessity to attack either Confucianists or Taoists 
about their Ancestral worship ; on the contrary, they met on 
common ground ! The Nestorian prayers for the dead and 
the Ancestral worship of Confucianists and Taoists were 
strong enough to influence any such far-sighted leaders as 
the Buddhist Subhakarashima, Vajra Bodhi, Amogha Vajra, 
and others to popularize the " Feast of departed Souls." 

It is impossible to imagine that Amogha Vajra, the 


favourite of three Chinese Emperors, was so inhuman as to 
be unmoved by the prevalent feeling. Nay, it was essential 
for him, or any other Buddhist leader, to defend Buddhism 
against the attacks from outsiders who said that " Buddhism 
does not teach respect for Ancestors, as they even cremate 
the dead." 

The Feast of departed Souls and the influence of the Great- 
Sun- Worship of Vairochana, as the Light and Saviour of the 
World, were extremely flourishing and popular during the 
eighth century in China, and even at the time when our 
Kobo Daishi went to Ch'ang-an at the beginning of the 
ninth century. 

This Feast of departed Souls, the chief characteristic of 
Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, is one of the most 
conspicuous indirect results produced by the presence of the 
Assyrian Christians in China, and is an equally prominent 
usage amongst the descendants of the ancient Celtic Church 
in Brittany as well as in Italy, and other Roman Catholic 
countries down to the present day. 

The Festival must have seemed a strange innovation to 
the Southern Buddhists who clearly and distinctly professed 
that " No man can be saved by another ; he must save him- 
self." "Buddhism teaches the highest goodness without a 
god ; a continued existence without what goes by the name 
of soul ; a happiness without an objective Heaven ; a method 
of Salvation without a vicarious Saviour ; a Self-redemption, 
without rites, prayers, penances, priests, or intercessory saints ; 
and a summum bonum attainable in this life and in this 
world." (" Buddhist Catechism," by Col. Alcott, pp. 25, 33.) 

Evidently " the Feast of departed Souls " is entirely un- 
known to the Orthodox Canon of Southern Buddhism ! But 
how this Mahayana Festival of departed Souls and prayer for 
the dead and the dying, which are thoroughly Catholic teach- 
ings, came from contact with the Assyrian Christians in 
China is a most important problem, and as yet unsolved. 


Monsignor Duchesne says that "the most characteristic 
trait in all Liturgies of Nestorian origin, is the place assigned 
to the great Intercession or Memento ; instead of following 
the epiclesis as in the Syriac liturgy, it is placed before and 
attached immediately to the Commemoration of the Christ 
or Anamnesis'" ("Origines du Culte Chretien," p. 70, pub. 
Paris, 1908 ; English ed., S.P.C.K., 1910, p. 70). 

So much for the relation between the Nestorians in China 

and Chinese Buddhism. During the eighth and 
Possible re- . , , 7 , 

lation of the ninth centuries, there was scarcely anything good 

Influence in in Hsi-an-fu, the great Tang capital, that was not 

China to the introduced into Japan or copied by the Japanese 
marriage of . , . . , f. f r 

priests in in their capital at Nara sooner or later. 

Japan. If the Court buildings in Hsi-an-fu were painted 

red, so were those at Nara. If a temple was built and 

supported by the Chinese Government in each province, so 

must it be in Japan. If the birthday of the Chinese Emperor 

was observed as a National Holiday in China, so was it here. 

If the nobles and upper class in the Chinese capital played 

football, it was soon imitated by the Japanese aristocracy in 

Nara, and Asuka-oka. 

Strange as it may sound to a foreigner, and still more so 
to our own Japanese people, it is not altogether unreasonable to 
suppose the old Japan prior to the thirteenth century as if she 
were a part of China so far as her culture and civilization 
were concerned ! 

We can trace it all back to the Chinese origin of Japanese 
Buddhism. It was after Kublai Khan's invasion (1268- 
128 1 A.D.) that Japan began to realize her spiritual as well as 
material independence. By her great victory over Kublai, 
Japan shook off the spiritual yoke, so to speak, of Chinese 
civilization, and a strong national consciousness arose. 
Before the thirteenth century, Buddhism never took the form 
of a Japanese Buddhism. This fact in Japan's religious 
history corresponds to other facts in her national history. 


Art and literature began to take a Japanese form about the 
same time. 

But the influence of China was so strong that after the 
long space of nine hundred and fifty years those Japanese 
who studied Buddhism only through Chinese translations 
at last began to think that for the study of Buddhism the 
Chinese texts and Chinese commentaries were enough. 
They did not see any land beyond China. 

In the thirteenth century the study of Sanskrit was quite 
neglected by Japanese Buddhists. When the great Shinran 
and Nichiren created Japanese Buddhism out of Chinese 
Buddhism, it was a time when Japan was least influenced by 
things Chinese. 

It was after the glorious Japanese victory over Kublai 
and his Tartar hosts in 1281 A.D., that Japan became the 
true preserver of the Cha'ng-an civilization. 

We find many things in Japan which have long been lost 
in China. For example, there are several ancient Chinese 
books which are preserved only in Japan ; some musical 
instruments, like the biwa, which have almost obsolete forms 
in China, although well preserved in Japan ever since Fujiwara 
Sadatoshi (^ Jjgf J=| |jj[) introduced them into the country' 
in 893 A.D. 

Similarly in Religion. Some of the Buddhist sects lost 
in China developed here in Japan on different lines. The 
strongest sects in Japanese Buddhism all belong to the 
Mahayana school whose central points are diametrically 
opposed to those of Southern or Hinayana Buddhism, whether 
found in China or in India.* 

Among the Buddhist sects in Japan the Shin-shu (i.e. 
True religion, jf! ^) canonically allows its priests, or ordained 
men, to marry. This sect was founded by Shinran in 1224 
A.D. But his teacher Genku, better known as Honen Shonin 

* Shingon shu has 17,538,859; Shin shu, 13,325,619; Sodo shu, 9,681,612; 
Jodo shu, 3,913,051 ; Rinsai, 2,268,222 ; Tendai, 2,078,424 ; Nichiren, 2,163,809 
(The Government Report for 1912). 


(1 133-1208 A.D.), who introduced the Jodo-Shu (Sukhavati, 
i.e. " the Paradise-of-the-West," sect) into Japan had already 
permitted Shinran to marry. This was not the Ordination 
of the married man, but the marriage of the ordained man. 

The historians of this sect agree in saying that Shinran 
had two teachers in Japan, three predecessors in China, and 
two Boddhisattvas in India. The two Japanese teachers of 
Shinran were Genku (*^J 2Jj?) and Genshin (|Jgi fg), and his 
three Chinese predecessors were Yiin-luan (J| Jj^), Tao-ch'o 
(IH |£), and Shan-tao (M& Sgi), whilst the 'two Boddhi- 
sattvas were Vasubandha (jjjr |p£), a disciple of Nagarjuna, 
and Nagarjuna (j|j| ^J) himself — the great teacher of the 
Amitabha doctrine. 

Nagarjuna having died about the middle of the second 
century A.D., the Japanese Buddhists trace back to 
Sakyamuni and thus lay claim to their own "Apostolic 

Sakyamuni (450 B.C.). 

Ashvaghosha (died 100 A.D., but is traditionally claimed 
to have died in 405 B.C.). 

Nagarjuna (died 194 A.D., some say that he died in 120 
A.D., while others 1 50 A.D.). 

Vasubandha (345 A.D., some say that he died in 445 A.D.). 

Bodhiruchi (508 A.D., he died in Lo-yang, China). 

Bodhidharma (520 A.D., he came to China, where he died 
in 529 A.D.). 

Yiin-luan (Donran) (§ $§) (502 A.D.-549 A.D.). 

Tao-ch'o (Doshaku) (^ jj^i) (died in 646 A.D., eleven years 
after the Nestorians arrived). 

Shan-tao (Zendo) (^p |||) (died in 681 A.D., forty-six 
years after the Nestorians arrived). 

Genshin ($j| jff ) (941-1017 A.D.). 

Genku ($g §g) (1 133-1208 A.D.). 

Shinran (^ $g) (1 173-1263 A.D.). 


The chief authorities agree in saying that Shinran and his 
teacher Honen Shonin (Genku) improved upon the teachings 
of their predecessor Shan-tao, the Chinese Buddhist, who 
taught Salvation by faith in Amitabha and the doctrine of 
a Trinity — " when he preached, the Three Buddhas appeared 
in his breath ! " 

How Shan-tao got the idea of A Vicarious Saviour of 
Unlimited Light or that of "Eternal Life" by Faith in 
Amitabha is the most important point. The mere fact that 
Shan-tao lived at the time when the Nestorian Mission 
flourished in China, and that both Buddhists and Nestorians 
were on sympathetic terms ; that they often met at the 
Imperial Court of the T'ang Emperors ; that about one 
hundred years after Shan-tao, Prajrla from Kapisa was trans- 
lating Buddhist scriptures with Adam, the Nestorian priest, in 
the ancient capital of China, are all sufficient proofs to 
convince any reasonable mind ; whilst what the Rev. Z. 
Tachibana and Sir Aurel Stein have so lately discovered in 
the Khotan region shows that Amitabha Buddhism was very 
strong in the locality where Assyrian Christianity was strongest. 

But if we trace back to the root of Shinran's teaching, it 
is summed up in a few words : " Man has no power to save 
himself." " Man cannot be saved by his own effort ; it is 
by the grace and merit of Amitabha that man is saved : 
Nama Amitabha (We trust in Thee, O Amitabha !) is all we 
need to say to be saved and no more ! " 

This is just the opposite to the Hinayana creed of Southern 
Buddhism, which declares : u No one can be saved by 
another ; he must save himself ; he must save himself with- 
out a vicarious Saviour." 

We are told by certain Buddhists that the Buddhist idea 
of salvation by faith in Amitabha is the result of Evolution ; 
that the process was gradual and imperceptible. The doctrine 
of the Hinayana — "one must save oneself" — was changed in 
the course of many centuries into the doctrine, " one must 


save oneself by the merit of reciting the prayer — Nama 
Amitabha ! " The salvation of man depended, not on the 
work, but on the merit of repeated prayer. This second 
stage, we are told, was again changed into the doctrine, " one 
can be saved, not by the work nor by the merit of repeating 
the prayer, but by the grace of Amitabha. We trust in 
Him, instead of trusting to our own effort, or merit, or offer- 
ing the prayer." 

We do not know how far this explanation given by a 
Buddhist can be confirmed by the canonical scriptures of 
Buddhism. But as to the Origin of the Amitabha doctrine, 
the following points are clear : 

(1) It is quite foreign to Orthodox or Indian Buddhism 
— the Southern Church knows nothing whatever of it. 
Evidently the Theological Evolution did not take place in 
the South. 

(2) In Northern Buddhism, i.e. the Mahayana school, 
the doctrine is found only in the Larger Suk/iavati Vyufia, the 
Smaller Sukhavati Vyuha, and the Amitayur-dhyana Stitras. 
The first book was translated by Lokarakcha in 147 A.D., and 
An-shih-kao (Ashiki, Arsakes) in 148 A.D. But the translation 
now in use was made by Samghapala or Samghavarman 
(Ilf fft^ f&) m 2 5 2 A - D - It: is called Fo-shuo wu-liang-shou 
ching ("Bussetsu Muryojukyo") (f& fft ^ jg; lg $£), U. 
" The Eternal-Life-Sutra preached by Buddha." 

In 402 A.D., Kumarajiva's translation appeared as Fo-shuo 
A-mi-t'o ching (Bussetsu Amida Kyo) (ffi f^ ppf §jg 

Pfe |§9> and in 6 5° ^^ Hsuan - tsan g' s (i. 3^) translation 
as Ch'eng-tsan ching-t'u Fo nieh-shou ching (Shosan Jodo 

Butsu Setsuju Kyo) (f§ ff^ ± ^ » ^ ^)- 

According to Dr. Nanjio, " This sutra gives a history of 
the Tathagatha Amitabha, from the first spiritual impulses 
which led Him to the attainment of Buddhahood in remote 
Kalpas down to the present time when He dwells in the 
Western World called Sukhavati, where He receives all living 


beings from every quarter, helping them to turn away from 
Confusion and become enlightened." 

The book is full of many strange personal names of 
disciples of Buddha ; and its allegorical tone renders it very 
difficult for the reader to grasp its true meaning. Yet it has 
the following words* about the birth of Gautama Buddha, 
which must sound very familiar to the Western Christian. 

" Resigning His existence in the Heavenly Palace, the 
Spirit of God was incarnated in the womb of a mother." 

" He cried out, * I shall be peerless in the world ! ' " 

" When He was born, all the gods waited upon Him. 
All the angels adored Him." 

" He had all Sciences and Arts at His fingers' end." 

Again, about His temptation and victory over the Devils, 
it has the following words : 

" Radiating the Great Luminous Light, He informed the 
Devil of the fulness of His time. Then came the Devil with 
all his kindred and tempted Him. His wisdom and power 
were more than theirs all combined, so that they were all 
conquered by Him." 

Then as the Saviour of the world the following is said of 
Buddha : 

" He is a true Friend to all that are heavily burdened 
before they ask for His help." 

Again, about His glory : 

"When He spake these words, His body became pure 
and His face transfigured as the Sun and His raiment as 
the pure Mirror." 

About how to lead a Spiritual Life the book says : 

" He said, * Why do ye not give up worldly cares and 
seek the moral before everything?' Ye have the eternal 
life and ye have the endless enjoyment of pleasure of life." 

" If ye have a field, ye take too much thought of the field. 
If ye have a house, ye take too much thought of the house." 

* See Appendix, No. III. and No. IV. 



" He that has one thing shall need for another." 

m ' Why do ye not seek the eternal life in earnest ? Why 
do ye not seek the Truth ? Why do ye stand idle ' ? " 

"If we sow good seed we shall reap good fruit. If we 
walk in the true Way we cannot but fulfil the true Way." 

" Conquer ye evil with goodness ; not evil with evil." 

"If ye recognize your old sins and do earnestly repent 
and sincerely desire to separate from them, ye can do so only 
by asking Him for His help. Ask and ye shall be saved." 

The second book was translated by Hsiian-tsang in 
650 A.D. In this it is taught that if a man keeps in memory 
the name of Buddha Amitabha one day or seven days, the 
Buddha together with the Bodhisattvas will come and meet 
him at the moment of death so that he may be re-born in the 
Pure-land, Sukhavati (g§ ^f ^ ± t ). 

About Salvation by Faith, this book has these sayings : 

" O ye good men and women ! If ye only have Faith, 
re-birth in the Pure-land, Sukhavati, shall be given to you ! " 

" If any one already began to ask Him in the past or is 
willing to ask Him in the present or shall ask Him in the 
future to grant the re-birth in the Pure-land of Amitabha, He 
will grant it to any one freely at the very moment of 

The third book was translated into Chinese in 442 A.D. by 
Kalayashas (g J^ Jfg ^). In this book (as we are told 
by Dr. Nanjio) " Queen Vaidachi, wearied of this wicked 
world, is comforted by Sakyamuni, who teaches her how to 
be born in the Pure-land and instructs her in the three kinds 
of Goodness. These are : (1) worldly goodness — filial piety, 
loyalty, respect for parents, etc. ; (2) morality of that inward 
and unworldly kind which is the first foundation of the 
religious life ; and (3) the goodness of practice, which 
includes the practical application to life of the four great 
truths and the six Paramitas or cardinal virtues. A good 
seed produces good fruit in abundance. If we sow the seed 



of the Three Goodnesses, we shall reap as a fruit the manifold 
bliss of the Pure-land." 

The book says : 

" Vaidachi said unto the Lord : ' Lord, by reason of what 
old sins must I suffer from the hand of my own wicked son ? 
Lord, if Thou hast mercy upon me, preach Thy Salvation for 
my sake. I am tired of this wicked world of sins. I do 
earnestly repent of my sins ! O Thou, the Sun of Buddha, 
shine forth Thy glory and show me the Way of Pure Life 
(Li. redeemed life) ' ! " 

" The Lord said unto Vaidachi * Knowest thou that 
Amitabha is not far from thee ? Meditate thou with all thy 
heart and at all time upon Him ' ! " 

" The Mind of Buddha is the mind of the great love and 
Mercy which freely saves the souls of all mankind." 

" Amitabha radiates great shining Light from His own 
person. His glory shineth forth the Way (to walk in) for the 
believers in Him." 

" He and all His Bodhisattvas welcome the believers at 
the Gate of Paradise giving them their hands ! " 

The relation of Amitabha to Christianity is too great a 
problem for us to discuss and is altogether beyond our 
present purpose. But it is clear that the Assyrian Christians 
were not opposed to this Amitabha doctrine, and that its 
development in China furnished a common meeting-ground 
and lever for them and their friendly collaborators, the 
Buddhish monks. 

Chronologically speaking, we cannot escape the conclu- 
sion that Shan-tao must have been on sympathetic terms 
with the Nestorians in China. And so long as the Japanese 
Buddhist historians claim " The Transmission," or " Apostolic 
Succession " of Shinran Shonin through Shan-tao and Tao-ch'o 
they cannot deny that Shinran Shonin was, indirectly and 
unconsciously (it may be even to himself), related to the 
Assyrian Church of the Messiah in China. 


Kao-Tsung (650-683 A.D.), who was a great friend of 
Shan-tao, was the very Emperor who most helped the 
Assyrian Church in China ! Our Inscription says : 

" The great Emperor Kao-Tsung reverently succeeded his 
ancestors. Embellishing and completing the True Religion 
(M 5§?) ( this is the verv name bv which the Japanese sect 
of Shinran is known !). He caused a Luminous monastery to 
be built in every province and extended his favour to A-lo-p6n, 
and raised him to be the Patron Saint and Spiritual Lord 
over the Empire. The Religion had free course throughout 
the Ten Provinces. The State enjoyed great peace, and a 
monastery was founded in every city, and family life flourished 
in the Luminous happiness." 

Under these circumstances it is impossible to imagine 
that Shan-tao was ignorant of the Nestorian doctrines. 

It was in the year 1200 A.D. that Shinran Shonin was 
allowed by his teacher Genku (Honen Shonin) to marry. 
This was a new departure in Buddhism whether in China 
or in India. Even in the history of Buddhism in Japan it 
is unprecedented. But when we know that the Nestorian 
priests in the time of Shan-tao were canonically allowed 
to marry, it need not surprise us to see the spiritual 
descendants of Shan-tao in Japan some five hundred years 
later permitting marriage. 

Although we have as yet no direct evidence to prove 
that the legitimatizing of a Buddhist priest's marriage was 
copied from the Nestorian example in China, we are con- 
vinced that Genktf (Honen Shonin)— Shinran's Master— did 
take a leaf out of the Nestorian book. 

It was in the year 499 a.d. that the Nestorian bishops 
held a Synod at Seleucia-Ctesiphon and formally repudiated 
clerical celibacy. This decision might have been due to Per- 
sian influence, as celibacy was so repugnant to Persian preju- 
dices. If this be so, then Persian influence would have been 
very powerful in the seventh and eighth centuries amongst 



the Nestorians in China, so that it is not surprising that we 
should read in the Inscription: "Deacon Adam, the son of 
chorepiscopos Yesbuzid. Mar Yesbuzid, chorepiscopos of 
Kutndan, the Royal City, the son of the late priest Milis. 

The Prime Minister Fujiwara Kanesane asked Genku to 
find a suitable young man who could set a good example 
to the world by showing that married life is no hindrance 

to salvation. , 

Genku (Honen Shonin) (who was evidently in favour of 
priestly marriage) having obtained his disciple's consent, 
recommended Shinran to the Prime Minister. Thus the 
marriage of priests was introduced into Japanese Buddhism 
at the end of the twelfth century. 

If we compare Shinran with Luther in this respect, we 
see that whilst the Japanese reformer simply bore witness 
to the world that the religious life with a legitimate wife 
according to his own Buddhist faith is not impossible, the 
German reformer-monk protested his right to marry a nun 
against the Papal rule. One was a fighter but the other 

was not. , 

« A great licentiousness treads on the heels of a reformer. 
How many times in the history of the world has the Luther 
of the day had cause to lament the decay of piety in his 
own household! 'Doctor/ said his wife one day to Martin 
Luther, 'how is it that whilst subject to the Papacy, we 
prayed so often and with such fervour, whilst now we pray 
with the utmost coldness and very seldom ?'» This could 
not be said of Shinran ! 

We do not know how far these words of Emerson s hold 
good in the Reformation History of Japan. But one thing 
fs certain, that "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them 
out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from 
the evil," was Shinran's ideal as it was also the ideal of 
Luther. Hence both Buddhists and Christians may under- 
stand the words in the Nestorian Inscription : 


" They preserve their beards to show how their work lies 
without themselves ; they shave their crowns to show that 
they have no private inward affections." 

The beards remind them of their work of love and 
charity, whilst the shaven crown — the tonsure which is 
peculiar to the Mahayana and not found in the Hinayana 
Buddhism — reminds them that they are " not of the world." 
They were Nestorian clergy at heart, but as men more human 
than their fellows. " They do not differ from the laity in 
their outward appearance, whilst of greedy selfishness they 
have none." 

Speaking Buddhistically, this is the Mahayana doctrine 
of Mahayana doctrines. It is of a piece with the principles 
of Ashvagosha and Nagarjuna. The paradox of the lay- 
priest and the priest-laic was a part of the great principle 
which was realised in the legal marriage of the priest. 

We have shown that the Nestorian Stone cannot be a 
Jesuit fabrication, as was once erroneously sup- Conclusion, 
posed. And if its genuineness be established then we can 
immediately appreciate its value. 

It is really " the Speaking Stone ! " and in it we recognize 
a similar value to that of the Moabite Stone, or the Rosetta 
Stone, or the Rock of Behistan on the Caravan High-road to 
the Far East — all of them witnesses in stone to the Truths of 
the Bible, or affording Keys whereby to interpret it. 

By this Nestorian Stone we can at once explain why so 
many European elements are observable in the Chinese civili- 
zation of the Middle Ages. We can also trace, " fore and aft," 
so to speak, in Assyrian Christianity, the Vairochana Religion, 
the Amitabha Doctrine, the Feast of departed Souls, the eat- 
ing of flesh, and the legal and canonical marriage of priests 
as well as the tonsure—" the Crown of Thorns " mentioned 
in the " Travels to the Western Heaven," a Chinese Buddhist 
allegory which exhibits strong Nestorian influence— all of 
which are most conspicuous elements in Japanese Buddhism, 


but quite contrary and entirely foreign to Southern Buddhism 
and to the greater part of the Mahayana School in High 
Asia. As for the Mahayana School in India of which we 
have spoken so often, we are told by good authorities that 
there is now no Mahayana in India as it was utterly 
destroyed by the Arabs and Brahmans over iooo years ago, 
China and Japan being the only countries where this new 
Buddhism has attained its full growth. 

If any one should ask what influence Nestorianism had 
on Chinese thought in general, we reply that it was the great 
change effected by the Nestorians on the ^Chinese idea of 
" Heaven/' which after the seventh century, became gradually 
merged into that of a Personal God. 

The theistic conception of the world was strongly and 
clearly expressed by the Confucian and Taoist scholars 
between 618 and 1277 A.D., which is commonly known as the 
Tang and Sung period of Chinese literature. The most 
sceptical cannot deny that the best Chinese literature of these 
two dynasties is interpenetrated by the theistic conception 
of " Heaven." We cannot but observe that this remarkable 
change took place in the period following the arrival of the 
Nestorians. What Dr. Legge said fifty years ago in his 
translation of the Chinese classic " The Doctrine of the Mean " : 
"In the meantime the Chinese idea was antagonistic to 
Christianity. By and by, when Christianity predominates in 
the New China, men will refer to it as a striking proof how 
their fathers by their wisdom knew neither God nor them- 
selves? cannot by any means be said of the Chinese of the 
Nestorian period ! 

The Nestorian contribution to the development of a 
theistic or Personal God is indeed great and valuable. 
The Christian idea of a personal God could find no better 
tree on which to be grafted than Chinese thought, whose 
heritage of moral precepts (derived from Lao-tzu and 
Confucius) may be compared with that of the Hebrew and 


Christian Scriptures. We can point to no moral precept 
which was a Nestorian monopoly, or which was entirely new 
and unknown to the Chinese of the seventh, eighth, and 
ninth centuries a.d. 

When the Nestorians came to China, the Chinese, for 
centuries past, had possessed a highly developed system of 
morals : " Rectification of the heart ; Veracity of intention ; 
Cultivation of the whole individual person ; the Right 
Management of the Family and good Order of the State ; 
and so to attain the general Peace of the World." (The 
Chinese book, " The Great Learning.") 

These constitute the end and aim of both the individual 
and the State — the individual had the ideal set before him 
to walk on the broad Highway of Charity, Justice, Order, 
Wisdom, and Fidelity ; and the mass of individuals composed 
the State. What could the Nestorian Teachers add to this ? 

In mystical and profound doctrines or in simple and 
practical precepts, the Nestorians could not surpass either 
Taoists or Buddhists — especially in such doctrines as those 
of Dhyani, Abidharma, etc. 

But, as some would say, we must acknowledge that the 
relation of Nestorianism in the seventh and eighth centuries 
to the civilization of the Chinese Empire somewhat resembles 
that of Christianity to the Graeco- Roman civilization of the 
Roman Empire in St. Paul's time ! 

The Nestorian missionaries stood before the Emperors of 
China as the Apostles stood before the Roman governors, 
whilst the Nestorians, like the Hebrew prophet, Daniel, and 
the monks of the West in the sub-apostolic age, were the 
trusted advisers of the Chinese and possibly Japanese 
Sovereigns ! 

But the chief merit of the Nestorians in China can by no 
means be ignored. 

The true leaven never ceases to work. Weak and 
inperceptible as the Nestorian leaven was, it gradually but 


surely permeated the whole tone of Chinese literature during 
the T'ang and Sung Dynasties. And when all China was 
divided between Confucianists and Taoists on the one side 
and Buddhists on the other, the Nestorians turned the scale 
in favour of Chinese Ancestor-worship, and thus contributed 
to create what is known to-day as " Chinese Buddhism " — 
and to confirm the belief in Amitabha — the Saviour who 
saves those who simply trust in and consecrate their whole 
being to Him. 

That the Nestorians who were driven from Edessa to 
Persia, and thence to Central Asia, and finally to the Middle 
Kingdom — sometimes sheltered by Arabs and sometimes by 
Hindoos — should have performed this great work of leaven- 
ing Chinese thought with Theistic conceptions, reminds us 
of that " Stone which the builders rejected but which became 
the chief Corner-stone ! " 

But should any one ask, " Why the Nestorian Church 
once so strong in China cannot now be discerned there ? M 
we reply that we can find their remnants — partly In the Chin- 
tan Chiao (^ ffi ^), whose number amounts at present 
to ten millions, and partly among the twenty millions of 
Mohammedans in China. 

As for the theological difficulties, we should like to 
emphasize that the most difficult thing for an intellectual 
Chinese to believe, is the " Resurrection of the Lord," which 
is as great a stumbling-block to them as it was to the Men 
of Athens in the days of the Apostle Paul (Acts xvii. 16). 
There is a curious sentence in Ssu-ma Kuang's " Mirror of 
History " under the seventh century (a few years after A-lo- 
pen's arrival in 635 A.D.), which runs thus : 

" There came a priest from the Western Regions who 
was skilled in charms and magic : he could cause people 
to fall down dead, and then, after muttering an incantation 
over them, to come to life again" {Tzu chih t'ung chien, 
ch. 195, year 639 A.D.). 


<*rirBi5«3fc. # fl fll- H * A 4 5E- « 

Strange as this remark appears, it resembles the rumour 
we ourselves heard here in Japan some thirty or forty years 
ago, that " any Christian missionary could work miracles " 
(which is nothing but Magic) ; hence Christian missionaries 
were much dreaded by the mass of the Japanese people 
owing to a mistaken idea which had been handed down from 
father to son for generations ever since the great Persecution 
by the Shogun in 161 1 A.D. 

History repeats itself. What once happened in Athens, 
occurred again in China, six hundred years later ; and the 
same thing is still taking place in our own Japan which 
inherited the civilization of Ch'ang-an ! The difficult pro- 
blems of the seventh and eighth centuries are the very 
same that the Japanese Church has to face and solve 

But what lessons can we learn from the history of the 
Syriac Church in China ? This depends on how we study 
this Inscription. 

If we mention the failures of the Nestorian Mission in 
China, we should say first of all, that they did not raise up 
native workers. The foreign missionaries relied on them- 
selves too much. We see hardly any native Chinese priests 
amongst the seventy-five names inscribed on the sides of 
the Nestorian Stone.* 

And, secondly, they were cut off from the main stream of 
the Church after the tenth century ; at least they were not 

* It may be insisted — not without good reason — that it is impossible to 
distinguish natives and foreigners with any degree of certainty. But to any one all 
names mentioned in the Inscription would seem to be "foreigners " as the contexts 
show, whilst to the author almost all the names on the sides of the Stone seem not 
to be the native Chinese. Possibly Priest P'u-chi (f£ j| $|) on the side may be the 
only Chinese, though we have no clear evidence except that this name is unusual 
for a Syriac one. 


reinforced from the main body after the rise of Moham- 
medanism. China was too vast a country to be Christianized 
by a comparatively small Church which had no "Mother- 
Church" to back it or strengthen the Nestorian body in 
China. Thus the detached regiment of the Soldiers of Christ, 
not being in communication with the main body of the army, 
was finally cut off from it And this is the position of the 
Nestorian remnant in China to-day ! 

Again, it appears to us that the missionaries relied too 
much upon Imperial favour. They died or were smothered 
under too much favour from principalities and powers as a 
State religion so often is. "Too much kindness," in this 
case, " killed the cat ! " A State Church is a national 
confession of God, and the nation which disowns or 
ignores God is doomed ; but the State protection of 
religion is apt to lead to State corruption of religion too. 

But we can perceive Nestorian influence in the books of 
the Mongol period. We can recognize their relics in the Chin- 
tan Chiao and Mohammedans of China ; in the Ancestor- 
worship which they harmonized with the Feast of departed 
Souls ; in the name of " The Vairochana- Religion " ; in priestly 
marriage and meat-eating ; in the " Salvation-by-faith-in- 
Amitabha-Buddhism " and Eternal Life ; and in the theory of 
" Qod-in-man " ($$ \ fe — - fgfc) upheld by the Sung 

Verily the Syriac Church did abundantly fulfil her 
mission in the Far East! 

We have only to go back to the sources in Japan in order 
to " convince " the so-called " heathen " in our midst — whose 
ancestors actually heard the Christian verities so long ago ! 
— to wake them up and make them understand that their 
ancestors were indeed Christians or (at least) possessed 
Christian truth under a different name. Yaso, Jesus, 
'It?<rovc, Messiah, Christ, Xpurrog, Mi-le Fo, and Miroku, 
are all Names for the One Being, " One without a second," 


as the inscriptions on the Egyptian Pyramids declared five 
thousand years ago. 

And should the attitude of foreign missionaries in China 
and Japan towards the " heathen" amongst whom they work 
be softened, even a little, and the remnant of the old Nes- 
torian Christians be identified among the ten millions of the 
Chin-tan Chiao, or discovered among the twenty-one millions 
of Mohammedans in China, then surely our study of the 
Inscription on the Venerable Stone-Tablet at Hsi-an-fu will 
not be in vain ! 




A Monument commemorating the Propagation of The 
Ta-ctiin (i) Luminous Religion (2) in the Middle 
Kingdom (3). 

[The figures correspond to the Number in the Notes, pp. 181-256.] 

EULOGY on a Monument commemorating the propagation 
of the Luminous Religion in the Middle Kingdom, with 
a Preface to the same, composed by Ching-ching (4), a 
priest of the Ta-ch'in monastery (5) (in Syriac), Adam (4), 
priest and chorepiscopos, and papas (pope) of Zhinastan (6). 

Behold ! there is One who is true and firm, who, being 
Uncreated, is the Origin of the origins ; who is ever 
Incomprehensible and Invisible, yet ever mysteriously exist- 
ing to the last of the lasts ; who, holding the Secret Source of 
Origin, created all things, and who, bestowing (7) existence 
on all the Holy ones, is the only unoriginated Lord of the 
Universe, (9) — is not this our Aloha (8) the Triune, mys- 
terious Person, the unbegotten and true Lord ? 

Dividing (10) the Cross, He determined the four cardinal 
points. Setting in motion the primordial spirit (wind), He 
produced the two (11) principles of Nature. The dark void 
was changed, and Heaven and Earth appeared. The sun and 
moon revolved, and day and night began. Having designed 
and fashioned all things, He then created the first man and 
bestowed on him an excellent disposition, superior to all 
others, and gave him to have dominion over the Ocean of 
created things. 

(The title is translated in italics on p. 162, opposite.) 

{To face p. 162. 


The original nature of Man was pure, and void of all 
selfishness, unstained and unostentatious, his mind was free 
from inordinate lust and passion. When, however, Satan (12) 
employed his evil devices on him, Man's pure and stainless 
(nature) was deteriorated ; the perfect attainment of goodness 
on the one hand, and the entire (13) exemption from wicked- 
ness on the other became alike impossible for him. 

In consequence of this, three (14) hundred and sixty-five 
different forms (of error) arose in quick succession and left 
deep furrows behind. They strove to weave nets of the laws 
wherewith to ensnare the innocent. Some pointing to natural 
objects pretended that they were the right objects to worship ; 
others denied the reality of existence, and insisted on ignoring 
the duality ; some sought to call down blessings (happiness 
or success) by means of prayers and sacrifices ; others again 
boasted of their own goodness, and held their fellows in 
contempt. (Thus) the intellect and the thoughts of Men fell 
into hopeless confusion ; and their mind and affections began 
to toil incessantly ; but all their travail was in vain. The 
heat of their distress became a scorching flame ; and self- 
blinded, they increased the darkness still more ; and losing 
their path for a long while they went astray and became 
unable to return home again. 

Whereupon one Person (1 5) of our Trinity, the Messiah ( 16), 
who is the Luminous Lord of the Universe, veiling His true 
Majesty, appeared upon earth as a man. Angels proclaimed 
the Glad Tidings. A virgin gave birth to the Holy One in 
Ta-ch'in(i7). A bright Star announced the blessed event. 
Persians saw the splendour and came forth with their tribute. 

Fulfilling (18) the old Law as it was declared by the 
twenty-four Sages, He (the Messiah) taught how to rule both 
families and kingdoms according to His own great Plan. 
Establishing His New (19) Teaching of Non-assertion which 
operates silently through the Holy Spirit, another Person of 
the Trinity, He formed in man the capacity for well-doing 


through the Right Faith. Setting (20) up the standard of the 
eight cardinal virtues, He purged away the dust from human 
nature and perfected a true character. Widely (21) opening 
the Three Constant Gates, He brought Life to light and 
abolished Death. Hanging up the bright Sun, He swept 
away the abodes of darkness. All the evil devices of the 
devil were thereupon defeated and destroyed. He then took 
an oar in the Vessel (22) of Mercy and ascended to the 
Palace (23) of Light. Thereby all rational beings were 
conveyed across the Gulf. His mighty work being thus 
completed, He (24) returned at noon to His original position 
(in Heaven). The twenty-seven (25) standard works of His 
Sutras were preserved. The great means of Conversion (or 
leavening, i.e. transformation) were widely extended, and the 
sealed Gate of the Blessed Life was unlocked. His Law is 
to bathe with water and with the Spirit, and thus to cleanse 
from all vain delusions and to purify men until they regain 
the whiteness of their nature. 

(His ministers) carry the Cross (26) with them as a Sign. 
They (27) travel about wherever the sun shines, and try to 
re-unite those that are beyond the pale (i.e. those that are 
lost). Striking (28) the wood, they proclaim the Glad 
Tidings (lit. joyful sounds) of Love and Charity. They (29) 
turn ceremoniously to the East, and hasten in the Path of 
Life and Glory. They (30) preserve the beard to show that 
they have outward works to do, whilst they shave the crown 
(tonsure) to remind themselves that they have no private 
selfish desires. They keep neither male nor female slaves. 
Putting all men on an equality, they make no distinction 
between the noble and the mean. They neither accumulate 
property nor wealth ; but giving all they possess, they set 
a good example to others. They (31) observe fasting in 
order that they may subdue " the knowledge " (which defiles 
the mind). They keep the vigil of silence and watchfulness 
so that they may observe "the Precepts." Seven (32) times 


a day they meet for worship and praise, and earnestly they 
offer prayers for the living as well as for the dead. Once (33) 
in seven days, they have " a sacrifice without the animal " 
{i.e. a bloodless sacrifice). Thus cleansing their hearts, they 
regain their purity. This (34) ever True and Unchanging 
Way is mysterious, and is almost impossible to name. But 
its meritorious operations are so brilliantly manifested that 
we make an effort and call it by the name of " The Luminous 

But, at any rate (35), * The Way" would not have spread 
so widely had it not been for the Sage, and the Sage would 
not have been so great were it not for " The Way" Ever 
since the Sage and " The Way " were united together as the 
two halves of an indentured deed would agree, then the 
world became refined and enlightened. 

When the accomplished Emperor T'ai-Tsung (36) 
(627-649 A.D.) began his magnificent career in glory and 
splendour over the (recently) established dynasty and ruled 
his people with intelligence, he proved himself to be a 
brilliant Sage. 

And behold there was a highly virtuous man named 
A-lo-pen (37) in the Kingdom of Ta-ch'in (38). Auguring 
(of the Sage, i.e. Emperor) from the azure sky, he (39) 
decided to carry the true Sutras (of the True Way) with 
him, and observing the course of the winds, he made his way 
(to China) through difficulties and perils. Thus in the Ninth 
year of the period named Cheng-kuan (40) (635 A.D.) he 
arrived at Ch'ang-an. The Emperor despatched his Minister, 
Duke (41) Fang Hsuan-ling, with a guard of honour, to the 
western suburb to meet the visitor and conduct him to the 
Palace. The Sutras (42) (Scriptures) were translated in the 
Imperial Library. (His Majesty) investigated "The Way" 
in his own Forbidden apartments, and being deeply con- 
vinced of its correctness and truth, he gave special orders for 
its propagation. 


In the Twelfth year of the Cheng-kuan period (a.d. 638) 
in the Seventh month of Autumn, the following Imperial 
(43) Rescript was issued : — 

u The Way " had not, at all times and in all places, the 
selfsame name ; the Sage had not, at all times and in all 
places, the selfsame human body. (Heaven) caused a 
suitable religion to be instituted for every region and clime 
so that each one of the races of mankind might be saved. 
Bishop A-lo-pen of the Kingdom of Ta-ch'in, bringing with 
him the Sutras and Images, has come from afar and pre- 
sented them at our Capital. Having carefully examined 
the scope of his teaching, we find it to be mysteriously 
spiritual, and of silent operation. Having observed its 
principal and most essential points, we reached the con- 
clusion that they cover all that is most important in life. 
Their language is free from perplexing expressions ; their 
principles are so simple that they "remain as the fish would 
remain even after the net (of the language) were forgotten." 
This Teaching is helpful to all creatures and beneficial 
to all men. So let it have free course throughout the 

Accordingly, the proper authorities built a Ta-ch'in (44) 
monastery in the I-ning (45) Ward in the Capital and twenty- 
one (46) priests were ordained and attached to it. The 
virtue of the honoured (47) House of Chou had died away ; 
the (rider on) (48) the black chariot had ascended to the west. 
But Virtue revived and was manifested again at the moment 
when the Great T'ang (Dynasty) began its rule, whilst the 
breezes of the Luminous (Religion) came eastward to fan it. 
Immediately afterwards, the proper officials were again 
ordered to take a faithful (49) portrait of the Emperor, and 
to have it copied on the walls of the monaster The 
celestial beauty appeared in its variegated colours, and 
the dazzling splendour illuminated the Luminous " portals " 
(i.e. congregation). The sacred features (thus preserved) 


conferred great blessing (on the monastery), and illuminated 
the Church for evermore. 

According (50) to the descriptive Records of the Western 
Lands and the historical works of the Han and Wei 
dynasties, the Kingdom of Ta-ch'in is bounded on the south 
by the Coral Sea (51), and reaches on the north to the 
Mountain (52) of all Precious Things ; on the west it looks 
toward the Gardens (53) of the Immortals and the Flowery 
Forests. On the east it lies open to the Long Winds (54) 
and the Weak Waters. The country produces asbestos 
cloth, the soul-restoring (55) incense, the bright-moon pearls, 
and night-shining gems. Robberies and thefts are unknown 
among the common people, whilst every man enjoys happi- 
ness and peace. None but the Luminous teachings prevail ; 
none but virtuous rulers are raised to the sovereign power. 
The territory is of vast extent ; and its refined laws and 
institutions, as well as accomplished manners and customs, 
are gloriously brilliant. 

The great Emperor Kao-Tsung (56) (650-683 A.D.) suc- 
ceeded most respectfully to his ancestors; and giving the 
True Religion the proper elegance and finish, he caused 
monasteries of the Luminous Religion to be founded in 
every (57) prefecture. Accordingly, he honoured A-lo-pen by 
conferring on him the office of the Great Patron and 
Spiritual Lord of the Empire. The Law (of the Luminous 
Religion) spread throughout the ten (58) provinces, and the 
Empire enjoyed great peace and concord. Monasteries were 
built in many cities, whilst every family enjoyed the great 
blessings (of Salvation). 

During the period of Saeng-li (59) (698-699 a.d.), the 
Buddhists, taking advantage of these circumstances, exercised 
a great influence (over the Empress Wu) and raised their 
voices (against the Luminous Religion) in the Eastern Chou, 
and at the end of the Hsien-t'ien (60) period (712 A.D.) 
some inferior (61) (Taoist) scholars ridiculed and derided it, 


slandering and speaking against it in the Western Hao. 
But there came the Head-priest .(or Archdeacon) Lo-han(62), 
Bishop Chi-lieh and others, as well as Noblemen from the 
" Golden " region and the eminent priests who had forsaken 
all worldly interests. All these men co-operated in restoring 
the great fundamental principles and united together to 
re -bind the broken ties. 

The Emperor Hsiian-Tsung (63) (712-755 A.D.), who was 
surnamed " the Perfection of the Way," ordered the Royal 
prince, the King of Ning-Kuo, and four other Royal princes 
to visit the blessed edifices (i.e. monastery) personally and to 
set up altars therein. Thus the " consecrated rafters " which 
had been temporarily bent, were once more straightened and 
strengthened, whilst the sacred foundation-stones which for 
a time had lost the right position were restored and perfected. 
In the early part of the period (64) T'ien-pao (742 A.D.), he 
gave orders to his general Kao Li-shih to carry the faithful 
portraits of the Five Emperors (65) and to have them placed 
securely in the monastery, and also to take the Imperial gift 
of one hundred pieces of silk with him, making the most 
courteous and reverent obeisance to the Imperial portraits. 
We feel as though " we (66) were in a position to hang 
on to the Imperial bow and sword, in case the beard of 
the Dragon should be out of reach." Although the solar 
horns (i.e. the August and Majestic Visages) shine forth 
with such dazzling brilliance, yet the gracious Imperial 
faces are so gentle that they may be gazed upon at a distance 
less than a foot. 

In the third year of the same period (67) (744 A.D.) there 
was a priest named Chi-ho (68) in the Kingdom of Ta-ch'in. 
Observing the stars, he decided to engage in the work of 
Conversion (lit. transforming influence) ; and looking toward 
the sun (i.e. eastward), he came to pay court to the most 
honourable (the Emperor). The Imperial orders were given 
to the Head-priest (Archdeacon) Lo-han, priest P'u-lun (69) 


and others, seven in all, to perform services to cultivate 
merit and virtue with this Bishop Chi-ho in the Hsing-ch'ing 
(70) Palace. Thereupon the monastery-names (71), composed 
and written by the Emperor himself, began to appear on the 
monastery gates ; and the front-tablets to bear the Dragon- 
writing (i.e. the Imperial hand- writing). The monastery was 
resorted to by (visitors) whose costumes resembled the 
shining feathers of the king-fisher bird whilst all (the 
buildings) shone forth with the splendour of the sun. The 
Imperial tablets hung high in the air and their radiance 
flamed as though vying with the sun. The gifts of Imperial 
favour are immense like the highest peak of the highest 
mountains in the South, and the flood of its rich benevolence 
is as deep as the depths of the Eastern sea. 

There is nothing which " The Way " cannot effect through 
the Sage ; and whatever it effects, it is right for us to define 
it as such in eulogy. There is nothing which the Sage cannot 
accomplish through " The Way " ; and whatever He accom- 
plishes, it is right we should proclaim it in writing (as the 
Sage's work). 

The Emperor Su-Tsung (72) (756-762 A.D.), the Accom- 
plished and Enlightened, rebuilt the monasteries of the 
Luminous (Religion) in Ling-wu, and four other counties. 
The great Good Spirit continued to assist him and the 
happy reign began anew. Great blessings were given (to 
him and his people) and the Imperial inheritance was made 

The Emperor Tai-Tsung (73) (763-779 A.D.), the Accom- 
plished and Martial, greatly magnified the sacred Throne to 
which he succeeded. He observed the rule of non-assertion 
and walked in The Way of the Silent-operation. Every 
year when the (Emperor's) birthday (74) recurred, he 
bestowed celestial incense (on the priests) wherewith to 
report (to Heaven) the meritorious deeds accomplished by 
him. He distributed provisions from his own table and 


thereby gladdened the congregation of the Luminous 
Religion. Morever, Heaven blessed him with great blessings, 
and what he did cannot but reach far and wide. As the Sage 
is the Embodiment of the Original Way of Heaven, he com- 
pletes and nourishes the objects of his favours. 

Our present Emperor (75) (who named the present period 
* Chien-chung * when he ascended the throne in 780 A.D.) is 
most sacred and august alike in the works of Peace and War. 
He developed the " Eight * (76) (objects) of Government, and 
degraded the unworthy whilst he promoted the deserving. 
He exhibited the " Nine divisions " of the grand scheme of 
Imperial government ; and thus imparted new life and vigour 
to his own Illustrious Mission. Conversion (i.e. the trans- 
forming influence) leads (the people) to the understanding of 
the most mysterious Principles. There is nothing to hinder 
us from offering our thanksgiving prayers for him. 

That those who are noble and exalted may behave 
humble-mindedly ; that those who are devoted to the 
Perfect Stillness may also be sympathetic and lenient to 
others ; and that they may thus seek, with boundless mercy, 
to relieve the sufferings of all, and with unselfish benevolence 
extend their helping hand to all mankind, these are our 
great plans for daily discipline and training, and gradual 
elevation of our life. Furthermore, in order that the winds 
and rains may come in their due season ; that peace and 
tranquillity may prevail throughout the Empire ; that all 
men may act reasonably ; that all things may remain un- 
dented ; that the living may flourish, and those who are 
dead (or dying) may have joy ; that the words of the mouth 
may be in tune with their inmost thought as the echo follows 
the sound :— all these are the meritorious fruits of the power 
and operation of our Luminous Religion. 

Our great Donor (yy), the priest I-ssu who had the title 
of Kuang-lu-ta-fu(78) (i.e. one of the highest titles conferred 
on an officer), with the decoration-rank of the Gold (signet) and 


the Purple Robe, and who was also the Lieutenant-Governor- 
General of the Northern Region, and the Assistant Over-Seer 
of the Examination Hall, was honoured with the purple 
clerical robe. He was mild in his nature and was naturally 
disposed to charity ! Ever since he heard of " The Way" 
he endeavoured to practise it. From afar, from the " City 
(79) of the Royal Palace," he finally came to the Middle 
Kingdom, which in the advancement of learning now almost 
surpasses the Three (80) Dynasties, and enjoys the full 
development of knowledge and skill in all the Arts. First 
performing (81) certain faithful services to (the one who dwells 
in) the " Red Court," he finally (82) inscribed his name in the 
Imperial book {i.e. thus pledging himself to be a loyal subject). 
When the Duke Kuo Tzu-i (83), a Secretary of State and 
Viceroy of the Fen-yang Province, was first appointed to the 
charge of the military operations in the Northern Regions 
(750 A.D.) the Emperor Su-Tsung ordered him (I-ssu) to 
accompany the Duke to his command. Although so 
intimate with the Duke as to be admitted into his sleeping- 
tent, yet so strictly and respectfully did he (I-ssu) behave 
that he made no difference between himself and others on 
the march. He proved himself to be " claw and tusk " to 
the Duke ; and " ear and eye " to the Army. 

He distributed all his salary as well as the gifts conferred 
on him, and did not accumulate wealth for himself and for 
his own family. He made offerings (to the monastery) of 
the Sphatika (84) (i.e. crystal) which had been granted to 
him by the Emperor himself, and dedicated to the monastery 
the gold-interwoven carpets which (despite his humble refusal) 
had been given to him by the Emperor's own favour. He 
also restored the old monasteries to their former condition, 
whilst he enlarged the worship-halls afresh. The corridors 
and walls were nobly ornamented and elegantly decorated ; 
roofs and flying eaves with coloured tiles appeared like the 
five-coloured pheasant on the wing. 


Still further,, ever since he took refuge in the Luminous 
Portals, he spent all his income in benevolent deeds. Every 
year he assembled the priests of the four (85) monasteries to 
have their reverent services and earnest offerings of prayers 
for fifty days. The hungry came to be fed ; the naked came 
to be clothed ; the sick were cured and restored to health ; 
the dead were buried and made to rest in peace. Among 
the purest and most self-denyfng Dasa (86) (i.e. man-servants) 
of the Lord such excellent examples were never heard of; 
but we see this very man amongst the white-robed scholars 
of the Luminous Religion ! 

To the glory of God for all these eminent and meritorious 
events (above described), we engrave the following Eulogy 
on this great Monument. 

It is the true Lord who was Uncreated, 

And was ever profoundly firm and unchangeable. 

He created the Universe after His own plan, 

And raised the Earth and framed the Heaven. 

Dividing His God-head, He took human form 

And through Him, Salvation was made free to all. 

The Sun arising, the darkness was ended. 

All these facts prove that He is the True Mystery. 

The most Glorious and Accomplished Sovereign 
Surpassed all His predecessors in upholding " The Way'* 
Taking Time at its flood, He so settled all disorders 
That Heaven was expanded and Earth widened. 
The brightest and most brilliant of all teachings— 
The teaching of the Luminous Religion — 
Took root deep and firm in our Land of T'ang (87). 
With the translation of the Scriptures 
And the building of convents, 

We see the living and the dead all sailing in one Ship of 
Mercy ; 


All manner of blessings arose, and peace and plenty 

Kao-Tsung succeeded to the Throne of his Fathers ; 

He re-built the edifices for Holy use. 

Palaces of Peace and Concord stood resplendent far and 

near ; 
The rays shining from them filled every part of the Empire. 
The truths of " The Way " were made clear to all men. 
Setting up a new institution, he created "the Lord 

Spiritual " ; 
And every man enjoyed most blessed peace and joy, 
Whilst the land saw neither pain nor grief. 

When Hsiian-Tsung commenced his glorious career, 
With might and main, he pursued the Way of Truth. 
The temple-names written by the Emperor shone forth ; 
The tablets of the celestial hand-writing reflected 

The Imperial Domain was embellished and studded with 

While the least and the remotest places attained the 

highest virtue. 
All sorts of works undertaken by the people flourished 

throughout the land ; 
And each man enjoyed his own prosperity. 

When Su-Tsung finally was restored to the throne, 
The Celestial Dignity guided the Imperial vehicle ; 
At length the sacred Sun sent forth its crystal rays ; 
Felicitous winds blew, and the Darkness fled ; 
Thus the precious Throne was made secure 
To the Imperial family of the great T'ang. 
The causes of calamity took flight— never to return ; 
Tumults were settled and men's passions subdued ; 
The ideals of the Middle Kingdom were at last realized. 


Tai-Tsung was filial to his parents and just to all. 

His virtues united with the great Plans of the Universe. 

By his unselfish benevolence, he helped all mankind, 

Whilst the greatest blessings were realized in the abun- 
dance of wealth and prosperity. 

By burning fragrant incense, he showed his gratitude ; 

With benevolence he distributed his gifts to the people. 

The Empire became so enlightened as though the glory of 
the Rising Sun in the Eastern Valley 

And the full Moon in her secret cave were brought 
together as one. 

When our present Emperor ascended the Throne, 

He took the reins of government and named the " Chien 

chung" (period). 
He devoted himself to the cultivation of the Luminous 

His military sway quelled the tumults of the Dark Sea in 

the Four Quarters, 
Whilst his peaceful rule of Enlightenment purified every 

part of the world. 
As the light from a candle shines forth, so doth his glory 

penetrate the secrets of men. 
As the mirror reflects all things, so nothing is hid from 

his observant eye. 
The whole Universe gets life and light because of him. 
And even many of the rudest tribes outside the Empire 

take pattern by his government. 
How vast and extensive is the True Way ! 
Yet how minute and mysterious it is. 
Making a great effort to name it, 
We declared it to be " Three-in-One " ! 
O Lord nothing is impossible for Thee ! 
Help Thy servants that they may preach ! 
Hereby we raise this noble Monument, 
And we praise Thee for Thy great blessings upon us ! 


Erected in the Second year of the Chien-chung period 
(781 A.D.) of the Great T'ang (Dynasty), the year Star being 
in Tso-o, on the seventh day of the First month (the day 
being), the great " Yao-sen-wen " (89) day; when the Spiritual 
Lord, the Priest Ning-shu (88) (i.e. " mercy and peace "), 
was entrusted with the care of the Luminous Communities 
of the East. 

(In Syriac) In the day of our Father of Fathers, my Lord 
Hanan-isho,* Catholicos, Patriarch. 

(In Chinese) Written by Lii Hsiu-yen (90) Assistant- 
Secretary of State, and Superintendent of the Civil Engineer- 
ing Bureau of T'ai Chou (ue. a department in Che-kiang). 

(Below the Inscription, partly in Syriac and partly in* 
Chinese, are these notices) — 

(In Syriac) In the year one thousand and ninety-two of 
the Greeks (1092 - 311 = A.D. 781) my Lord Yesbuzid, 
priest and chor-episcopos of Kumdan, the Royal city, son 
of the departed Milis, priest from Balkh (94), a city of 
Tehuristan, erected this Monument, wherein is written the 
Law of Him, our Saviour, the Preaching of our forefathers 
to the Rulers of the Chinese. 

(In Chinese) Priest Ling-pao (J|| ^). 

(In Syriac) Adam, deacon, son of Yezdbuzid, chor- 
episcopos ; Mar Sergius, priest and chor-episcopos. 

(In Chinese) The Examiner and Collator at the erection 
of the Stone Tablet, priest Hsing-t'ung (fj jf}). 

(In Syriac) Sabr-isho, priest ; Gabriel, priest and arch- 
deacon, and the Head of the Church of Kumdan (91) and 
of Saragh. 

(In Chinese) Assistant Examiner and Collator at the 
erection of the Stone Tablet, priest Yeh-li the Head-priest (93) 
of the monastery, who is honoured with the purple-coloured 
ecclesiastical vestment, and who is the Director (92) of the 
Imperial Bureau of Ceremonies, Music, and Sacrifices. 

* This is the Syriac name Hanan-isho, which means " Mercy of Jesus." 

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(Translated, pp. 178-180.) 

* [To face p. 180. 



(i) Ta-chHn. — Chinese authors used the words "Kingdom 
of Ta-ch'in " with different meanings at different times. But it 
must be a country near the Mediterranean Sea with a Patri- 
archal form of government as well as a Graeco-Roman civiliza- 
tion, and must have included the land lying between Antioch 
and Alexandria. It was mentioned in the " Book of History " 
(]£, IE)> written by Ssu-ma Ch'ien (ffj jg 3§) in 95 B.C., as 
well as in the " History of Han " (g| j$), by Pan-ku (g£ g|), 
in 92 A.D. under the name of " Li-k'an " (^ ^f ). It is in the 
" History of After-Han " ($j? gg ^), written by Fan Yeh 
(% iS8)i in 445 A.D., that we come across the name of Ta-ch'in 

(:fc^) with the ca P ital of " An - tu " ($C%$ffl (** 

Then again in the books written after the Pang Dynasty 
(618-906 A.D.) the country is known as " Fu-lin " (^ 7^ S)- 
The appearance of the name " Fu-lin " in Chinese history 
must have been very old, for one of the two first so-called 
Buddhist temples erected about A.D. 379 by the monk Jundo 
at Ping-yang,the old capital of Korea, was called " I-p'u-lan-ssu 

(fP* W ffl %)» which ma y mean " The E P hraim Temple." 
But it is in the early part of the seventh century — between 605 
and 616 A.D. when the famous Yang-Ti (fffi ^), the Sui 
Emperor, tried to re-open intercourse with " Fu-lin " but in 
vain, that the name entered into the historical works. In 
the year 643 A.D., Po-to-li ( $£ £ j]) (ie. Patriarch) of the 


" Kingdom of Fu-lin " (^ ^ g|) (i.e. Phrin or Ephraim) 
sent an Ambassador to the Chinese court. 

We are quite safe in saying that " Li-k'an," " Ta-ch'in " 
and " Fu-lin M (Ephraim) are names connected with the lands 
where the Graeco-Roman civilization was grafted on Hebrew 
thought and culture. But in our Nestorian Inscription, 
Syria, or at least that part of Palestine where Christ was 
born, was intended. This is obvious from the words : " A 
Virgin gave birth to the Holy One in Ta-ch'in." 

In this expression, Ta-ch'in is used for Judaea. By it, at 
any rate, is meant that part of the Province of Syria where the 
Lord was born, whilst we know for certain that the "Ta-ch'in" 
of the Chinese Annals was a part of the great Roman Empire. 

The following quotations from authors who have spent 
more time and energy than others in elucidating the subject 
may help the student to understand the " Fu-lin mystery " and 
its relation to " Ta-ch'in." The following are from the edition 
of the book " Chau Ju-kua " by Dr. Hirth and Rockhill (pp. 
104, 105). 

"The Ta-ts'in of the twelfth century, as represented in 
Chou K'u-feY's account, has all the characteristics of an 
ecclesiastical state. As in ancient times Ta-ts'in and 
Fu-lin may be looked upon as the representatives of the 
Christian world united under a spiritual chief, the Patriarch 
of Antioch, so the King of Ta-ts'in of the twelfth century 
must have been a patriarch, and, as is shown in a subsequent 
note, this king must have been the Nestorian patriarch of 
Baghdad, which city was indeed, at that time, the point of 
junction where all the great trade routes of Western Asia 
united. The words ' [Ta-ts'in was] also called Li-kien,' 
added here by Chau, are taken from the Hou Han-shu 
($fc ^H it*)* **8, anc * re ^ er to tne Ta-ts'in of ancient times. 

" Since the capital of Ta-ts'in is called An-tu (Antioch) in 
the Wei-shu (^J| ^f), 102, the so-called king of Ta-ts'in may 
have to be identified with the Patriarch of Antioch, who was 


indeed considered the spiritual head of all the Christians 
in Asia, certainly before the schism in 498 A.D., when the 
adherents of Nestorius established their own church irt 
Chaldaea. According to the T'ang-shu (0 ||£), 198, the king 
of Fu-lin called Po-to-li ($£ ^J ^J), sent ambassadors to the 
Chinese court in 643 A.D. This name lends itself admirably as 
a transcription of the Syriac form for ■ patriarch/ viz. batrik. 
In Chou K'ii-fei's account, as copied by Chau Ju-kua, the 
king of Ta-ts'in in the twelfth century is styled (§j§, i.e. he 
is addressed by the title of) Ma-lo-fu (jjg|t ffi jfij. Canton 
dialect : Ma-lo-fat, probable old sound Ma-lo-pat, or Ma-lo-ba, 
since fu (3$}) may stand for blia in Sanskrit transcriptions, 
see Julien, Mtihode pour dtchiffrer, 104, No. 309). This 
again is an excellent transcription for Mar Aba, one of 
the titles by which the Nestorian patriarch could be 
addressed. Mar is a title of honour given to learned devotees 
among the Syrian Christians, somewhat like our " Venerable " 
(Ducange, Glossarium, etc., ed. L. Favre, s.v. Mar). Aba 
means ' father/ Mar-Aba may thus be translated by 
•Venerable Father/ Its Latin and Greek equivalent was 
Patricius. (Assemanni, "Bibl. Orient./' III. B. 92: 'Quern 
enim Graeci Latinique Patricium vocant, is dicitur Syriace 
Aba, et praefixo Mar, seu Domini titulo, Mar- Aba.') 

"In the Syriac portion of the Nestorian Inscription of 
Si-an-fu the patriarch Hannanjesus II,* who died in 778 A.D. 
three years before the erection of the monument in 781, 
is referred to under the title Abad Abahotha Hanan Isua 
Qatholiqa Patrirkis. This does not exclude the possibility 
of all the patriarchs mentioned in Chinese records up to the 
time of Chou K'ii-fei as kings of Ta-t'sin or Fu-lin being 
patriarchs of Antioch." 

(2) Luminous - Religion. — The Chinese character for 
"Luminous" is "Ching" (;§;) and consists of two cha- 
racters "jin" ( 0) and "ching" (jg)— the former standing 

* Compare this with our Introduction, p. 35. 


for "sun" whilst the latter is a phonetic. The Sun-great 
means " Luminous." 

The writer of the Inscription — not, be it noted, Ching- 
ching, its composer, but the Chinaman Lu Hsiu-yen, employed 
or rather invented a different form of the character " Ching," 
( v i z . (-&) instead of (J£) the normal form found in the 
authorised Dictionary). 

Why Lu Hsiu-yen used a new form for this and other 
characters throughout the Inscription has been much dis- 
cussed by European critics. For instance, Dr. Legge says 

in his note : 

" It has been made an objection to the genuineness of the 
monument that the form of the characters and style of the 
composition are so much akin to the writing and style of the 
present day. But the same objection may be made to other 
inscriptions of the same date, and even of dynasties older 
than the Pang. No one familiar with the character and 
literature of the country would be likely to make it. Still 
there are some of the characters of an unusual form, though 
rarely unexampled. To two or three, not previously pointed 
out, attention will be f mind drawn in tJie present edition of the 
Chinese Text I wish here to notice the character translated 
1 Illustrious' and which everywhere in the monument appears 
as (*) instead of (;§;). There is no doubt that they are 
two forms of the same character, but I have nowhere found 
their difference of form remarked upon, and it has escaped 
the observation of all the lexicographers, Chinese as well 
as foreign. The second form is the correct one ; the ' jih * 
(B)> or symbol of meaning is what it should be, and so is the 
'ching' (^) or phonetic symbol. The writer of this 
Inscription uses (jf ) for (jjQ throughout, at which I am not 
surprised. How he should change the x ph % (0) m the top of 
the character into ' Pott' (P) surprises and perplexes me." 
(Dr. Legge, The Nestor ian Monument, p. 3-) 

Dr. Legge was perfectly correct when he remarked 


that he had nowhere found the difference of these forms 
commented upon, and that it has escaped the observation of all 
the lexicographers, Chinese as well as foreign, but the reason 
is not far to seek ; and if the lexicographers failed to notice 
the point, it may be due to the fact that almost all the native 
scholars fully understand the reason of the difference. 

Anyone who has especially studied "the Stone and 
Metal Writings " is familiar with what is traditionally called 
" One-stroke-freedom of a Calligrapher." That is to say, 
a calligrapher enjoys the great privilege of changing the 
form of a certain ideograph with impunity to suit his own 
calligraphical taste so long as the original number of stroke 
is observed, and in certain cases he may add or take away 
a stroke from the original and orthodox numbers of strokes 
to show his skill, so that forms found in the Dictionary may 
differ from those that are found on the " stone or metal." 

For example, the character standing for "pen" (^.) 
meaning " root " or " origin," is to be written thus (^C), but 
calligraphers prefer to use their own form (2j£) rather than 
that given in the Dictionary (7(c), because both the characters 
consist of five strokes, whilst in our Inscription the form of 
( jg k'ou) was used instead of ($| ch'u). So when Dr. Legge 
charged Dr. Bridgman with misreading this very ideograph, 
saying " Bridgman misreads ( jg k'ou) in it, as if it were 
(^g ch'u) ' a pivot,' ' an axis/ " he was entirely wrong, and 
Bridgman was perfectly correct in reading (;j§[) in the 
Inscription as (flj^). 

Not being aware of this calligraphical rule Dr. Legge 
translated "hsuan" (]£) with "k'ou" (Jg), which gives 
by no means a suitable meaning. On the other hand, 
"hsuan" (]£) with "ch'u" (fl|), meaning "mysterious 
source," is an established phrase which is frequently used in 
philosophical writings. 

(3) The Middle Kingdom, " Chung Kuo," is a very old 
name for China. It dates from the establishment of the 


Chou Dynasty, about B.C. 1122 when the Imperial territory 
was so named from its own special position in Honan. It 
was surrounded by all the others and was really in the 
middle of all states. As the empire grew the name was 
retained, and thus the popular belief that China is actually 
situated in the centre of the earth was strengthened. Chung 
kuo jen, or "men of the Middle Kingdom," denotes the 
Chinese. (See p. 4, Vol. I., "The Middle Kingdom," by Dr. 

(4) Ching-ching (King-tsing). — This is the Chinese name 
for Adam, the Persian priest. The two Chinese characters 
used to represent it are very suitable ones : " Ching " (which 
the Southern Chinese pronounce " King ") stands for 
"Luminous," whilst the second "Ching" (which, again, is 
" Tsing " in the south, stands for " pure " or " purified" The 
whole meaning would be "one purified by the Luminous 

That this Adam laboured with Prajna, the Kashmir monk, 
in translating the Sat-paramita-sutra (see Introduction, pp. 
71-74) shows that he must have studied Buddhism, whilst 
this Inscription composed by him shows how thoroughly 
versed he was in Chinese Art and Literature. His death 
must have occurred some time between 785-823 A.D. He 
was associated with Prajna (who first reached Hsi-an-fu in 
782 A.D.) in translating a Buddhist sutra some time between 
785-805 A.D., as is proved from the Chinese books ; whilst the 
fact that a Metropolitan for China was consecrated by Mar 
Timothy, Catholicos and Patriarch some time between 
782-824 a.d., is also proved from " The Book of Governors " 
by Thomas, Bishop of Marga, 840 A.D. ; see Dr. Budge's 
translation where, on p. 448, Vol. II., we read : 

"Mar Eliya, whose history we are about to write, was 
elected Bishop of Mukan, David was elected to be Metro- 
politan of Beth Sinaye (i.e. China) — now I have learned 
concerning this man from the Epistles of Mar Timothy." 


It is our firm belief that this David was elected to be 
Metropolitan of China in succession to Ching-ching, Adam, 
whose title was " Papas of Zhinastan " — in other words 
" Metropolitan of China." Hence his death must have 
occurred during the reign of the Catholicos Mar Timothy. 

(5) Monastery (^) Temples or monasteries which enjoy 
the title of " Ssu " (^), were limited to those supported by 
the Government. The names of " Aranyakah " (jSpf ]f|j ^) 
or "Chao-t'i" (^ |j|) were used for the Buddhist temples 
unsupported by the Government. Although the Nestorian 
Churches were supported by the Government and some of 
the Emperors and high officials favoured the Syrian Christians 
in China, the question how far the Chinese as a people were 
Nestorians presents itself. 

(6) Papas of Zhinastan.—" Chen-tan " (§| jft) are the 
Chinese characters used to represent China in the Hindu 
phonetisation ever since the time of the Ch'in Dynasty (B.C. 
349-202) whose capital was at Hsi-an. " Papas of Zhinastan " 
means the Metropolitan of China, an office which was held 
by Bishop David early in the ninth century. 

But how could a Chor-episcopos be also Papas or Metro- 
politan ? We think Pere Havret was correct in ' suggesting 
the « Papas," which denotes the office of the visitor, might 
have been used of the Metropolitan, as well as of lesser 
officers of the Church. 

(7) Bestowing existence on all tlie Holy Ones {miao-clmng- 
skeng) (fr># M) Ht. "mysteriously giving existence to 
multitudinous sages."-The phrase is doubtless borrowed 
from ■ I-ching, the Book of Changes." The Chinese - sheng 
(IB) may mean more than "Sage" or - Holy man." Only 
an omniscient being was called " sheng," so we should 
prefer to render « chung-sheng," the expression before us, 
"all the Gods" instead of "Holy ones," were it in an ordi- 
nary Chinese composition. 

Of course « sheng " has more than one meaning. It may 


mean sovereign or " Lord " in the secular as well as in the 
spiritual sense of the word. But that "sheng" in this place 
means " sage " or " Holy one," is beyond dispute. 

(8) A'lo-he (fql |H |5).~ This is no doubt the Chinese 
phonetisation of the Syriac term for Eloh, God, and is 
equivalent to the Hebrew (plural) " Elohim," although the 
three Chinese characters used here are exactly the same 
as those which the Buddhist translator Kalayashas em- 
ployed to represent "Arhat," the fruit of Buddha. See 
the Chinese translation of the Amitayur dhyana Sutra 
(1& Ift IS f& * % M.)> h y Kalayashas in 442 A.D., quoted 
on the page 133 of this book. 

(9) Lord of the Universe.—" The Lord of the Universe," 
or "Highly Honoured by the Universe" is an epithet of 
Buddha. Here Ching-ching, Adam, used the same epithet 
in a Christian sense. 

(10) Dividing the Cross.— More literally, "fixing the 
ideograph Ten," or "dissecting the ten-ideograph." The 
Chinese character " ten " consists of two strokes, one vertical 
and the other horizontal. The vertical stroke stands for the 
North to South, whilst the horizontal stroke stands for the 
East and West. So " dividing the ideograph Ten " actually 
means "determining the four cardinal points" or quarters, 
as in the expression which follows this. 

This kind of phrasing, called " Introductory wording," is 
commonly used both in Chinese and Japanese composition ; 
and it is not necessary to suppose that by it the author of 
the Inscription meant the " Cross," a Christian symbol, as in 
paragraph seven. 

(1 1) Two Principles of Nature.— -By this what the Chinese 
call "twofold ether" was meant, Yin ((Sgt) means the shadow 
or Darkness and Yang (gg) the Light or Brightness. The 
Spirit of Darkness and the Spirit of Light are indicated by 
the expression, which is borrowed from Chinese cosmogony 
— especially that of Taoism, which, it is possible, may have 



been derived from the Persian dualism, since Chinese dualism, 
like that of Persia, explains almost everything by the Two 
Spirits of Yin and Yang. 

(12) Satan. — A Chinese phonetisation of the Syriac 
corresponding to the Hebrew word. 

(13) The entire exemption from Wickedness. — This may 
not be the literal translation ; but judging from the context, 
the sense of the Chinese text must be so rendered. Compare 
the following varieties of translation : 

(Abbe Hue) " But Sathan propagated lies, and stained by 
his malice that which had been pure and holy : He pro- 
claimed, as a truth, the equality of greatness, and upset all 

(Wylie) " Man, acting out the original principles of his 
nature, was pure and unostentatious; his unsullied and 
expansive mind was free from the least inordinate desire : 
until Satan introduced the seeds of falsehood, to deteriorate 
his purity of principle ; the opening thus commenced in his 
virtue gradually enlarged, and by this crevice in his nature 
was obscured and rendered vicious. 

(Dr. Legge) "Man's perfect original nature was void of all 
ambitious pre-occupation ; his unstained and capacious mind 
was free from all inordinate desire. When, however, Satan 
employed his evil devices, a glamour was thrown over that 
pure and fine (nature). A breach wide and great was made 
in its judgments of what was right, and it was drawn, 
as through an opening into the gulph of (Satan's) per- 

(A. C. Moule) « It came to pass that Satan, the propagator 
of falsehood, borrowing the adornment of the pure spirit, 
disturbed the great (moral) equilibrium in (men's) goodness 
by the introduction of the likeness of confusion (which was) 
in his own wickedness." 

(14) 365 different forms of errors.- -The Chinese character 
"chung" (9) means "species "or "form." Butwhy365? The 


number corresponds with that of the days in an ordinary year. 
We may render the phrase : " different forms of errors 
which daily arise." " 365 " may mean * daily " or " innumer- 
able." So it is not necessary to suppose that the " form " of 
error means only the " sect " or " doctrine." The meaning of 
the word " chung " (jfjj) is far wider and much more general 
than that of "sect" or "doctrine." Although Mr. Yang 
(H| ^ $jj),the Chinese author on the Inscription, suggested 

in his book (^ ffc fl$ £ JE ¥ 3$C IE) that the word 
" chung " means " sect " or " doctrine," the context " strove in 
weaving snares of the law," does not confirm his view. 

(15) One Person of our Trinity. — Lit. " Three-one-divided- 
Body," " Messiah, who is the Luminous Lord of the Universe." 
The words " Three-one-divided-Body " being in apposition to 
the word, Messiah, we so translate them, although by so 
doing we stray from the beaten track. 

Mr. Alexander Wylie rendered this expression, " There- 
upon, our Tri-une being divided in Nature " ; whilst Dr. Legge 
translated it, " Hereupon our Tri-une (Eloah) divided His 
Godhead and The Illustrious and adorable Messiah," etc. ; and 
Mr. A. C. Moule rendered it, " Thereupon our Three in One 
divided Himself." (" Journal of the North-China Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society," Vol. XLI, 1910, Shanghai.) We think 
that " fen-shen " (fr J§*) ought here to be treated as a noun 
in an apposition to the word "Tri-une," and ought to be 
translated " One person " instead of " He divided Himself," 
as was shown by MM. Chavannes and Pelliot in Un Traitt 
Mankhien, etc., 1912, p. 17. But compare p. 122 above on 
the lAmitabha Doctrine, which is identical with that of the 

Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, who flourished in the 
second century, was the first who used the word " Trinity " 
to express the three Sacred Persons in the Godhead, and the 
doctrine it expresses has been generally received amongst 
Christians" (Hulme's " Symbolism in Christian Art," p. 31). 


(16) Mi-shi'lw. — This is, beyond all dispute, the Chinese 
phonetisation of the Syriac name of the Messiah. "Mshikha " 
is ety mologically identical with the Hebrew " Messiah," but 
to the Assyrian Christians it stood and stands for more than 
the Messiah-king of Prophecy, i.e. for the Union of the Two 
Natures, "the God-man." (See "The Assyrian Church," 
pp. 288-9, by the Rev. W. A. Wigram, D.D., S.P.C.K.) 

(17) Ta-chHn. — Here Ta-ch'in is used for Judea or that 
part of the Roman Province of Syria where the Lord Jesus 
Christ was born. 

(18) Fulfilling tJie old laws—by twenty-four sages.— The 
writer most probably meant by this the twenty-four writers of 
the Old Testament. 

Some suggest that, in the original, the Chinese character 
" man " is accidentally omitted after the words " twenty- 
four sheng." Mr. Moule says : " In the original a word 
(? A or $) is here accidentally omitted. To Havret's proof 
of this we may add that the omission occurs at the end 
of a column— -a most likely place, and that the last column 
of the Inscription is short by one word. Besides this slip 
in the writing there are at least two mistakes in the en- 

We consider that the character was intentionally avoided, 
as its addition would spoil the composition. The apparent 
slip is by no means one, whilst what some declare to be 
" mistaken forms of the Chinese characters," are in reality 
neither mistakes of the writer nor of the engraver! See 
Note 2 above in connection with our explanation of the 
character representing " Luminous." 

Besides, any well-educated Chinese or Japanese would at 
once understand from the context that the word "sheng" 
(IS) here stands for "sage" without being followed by the 
character " jen"( \) ("man" or "men"). To add the 
character "jen" after "sheng," would be^as the Chinese 
proverb says, "adding feet to the centipede." 


(19) His new teaching of non-assertion. — Non-assertion or 
non-action is practically the same. This phrase was adopted 
from Taoism. Compare the Text with the following quota- 
tions from the Second Chapter of "The Tao-tS-ching " 

" When in the world all understand beauty to be beauty, 
then only ugliness appears. When all understand goodness 
to be goodness, then only badness appears . . . therefore the 
holy man (sage) abides by non-assertion in his affairs and 
conveys his instruction by silence. When the ten thousand 
things arise, verily, he refuses them not. He quickens, but 
owns not. He works, but claims not. Merit he accomplishes 
but he doth not dwell on it. 

" Since he doth not dwell on it, 
It will never leave him." 

Alexander Pope must have been " an unknown Taoist " 
in Christian England when he judiciously observed in his 
m Essay on Man : " 

" Men must be taught as if 'twere taught them not, 
And things unknown proposed as things forgot" 

The author of the Nestorian Inscription used a Taoist 
phrase here as elsewhere, but added his own explanatory 
words, "which operates silently through the Holy Spirit/' 
and thus Christianised the whole expression. The seventh 
century Assyrian Christians in China resembled the modern 
Quakers or Quietists in their teaching. 

(20) Setting\up the standard of tlie eight cardinal virtues 
. . . the dusts from nature, etc. Lit. " fixing the standard 
of the Eight Boundaries." — This is one of the most difficult 
sentences in the Inscription. Compare the following trans- 
lations : 

(Abbe Hue) " He signified to the world the eight 


commandments, and purged humanity from its pollutions, 
by opening the door to the three virtues." 

(Wylie) "He fixed the extent of the eight boundaries, 
thus completing the Truth freeing it from dross. He opened 
the Gate of the Three Constant Principles, introducing life 
and destroying death." 

(Legge) "He defined the measure of eight (moral) 
conditions, purging away the dust (of defilement) and 
perfecting the truth (in men). 

(Moule) " He laid down the rule of the eight conditions, 
cleansing from the defilement of sense and making (men) 


What is meant by " eight " cardinal virtues ? Mr. Yang 
(*& M. Mb), a Christian Chinese and the author of a book 
oTthTlnscription, suggested that "Eight Beatitudes" was 
meant by "the Eight cardinal virtues," whilst others have 
suggested that it was the Eight Orders of the Assyrian 

Church. , ^ U A 

We are inclined to believe that the phrase was borrowed 
from Buddhism. In one of the Garbha Sutras 
( fit *& Rfi! H£ W) we read of "Eight precepts." It says : 

« nStSS are truly what makes a Buddha of man " 

(AH****** *> And these Eight pre " 

cepts are : 

(1) Kill no living being. 

(2) Abstain from theft and robbery. 

(3) Abstain from adultery. 

(4) Abstain from lying, 
(e) Abstain from wine. 

( 6) Do not sit on a high, broad, or large couch. 

( 7 ) Do not adorn thyself with wreaths of fragrant flowers, 
nor anoint thy body with perfume. 

(8) Do not takeVt 1 *"*■* « *"** " " n I 
theatrical performances, neither look on nor hsten to these 



Again, what is called the u eight rules of conduct " (or 
" marga " in Sanskrit) are as follows : 

(i) Correct view, or ability to discern the Truth. 

(2) Correct thinking, i.e. the mind free from wicked 


(3) Correct speech, or ability to avoid both nonsense and 

error in speaking. 

(4) Correct profession — mendicancy, the vow of Poverty. 

(5) Correct and suitable Virya or incessant practice of 


(6) Correct Samadhi or mental coma. 

(7) Correct memory or recollection of the Law. 

(8) Correct life or strict observation of Purity. 

This Garbha Sutra was translated into Chinese by three 
different men — Dharmarakcha (a.d. 303), Kumaradjiva (A.D. 
384-427) and Bodhirutchi (A.D. 684-727). So that the 
phrases must have been very familiar to Chinese Buddhists 
when this Inscription was written in the latter part of the 
eighth century. 

It is not surprising that he who afterwards co-operated in 
translating the Satparamita Sutra with Prajiia, the Kashmir 
monk, should use these Buddhist terms and phrases. 

Moreover, the expression in the context : u He purged 
away the dust " is borrowed from Buddhism. We are certain 
that " dust " here is the Sanskrit " Guna," which may well 
be translated " sensation," or " the objects of sensation " or 
finally "the organs of sensation" eyes, ears, tongue, body, 
and mind. The purification of these sense-organs is implied 
by the expression, " He purged away the dust." So we are 
justified in saying that the term "Eight cardinal virtues" 
was borrowed from Buddhism. 

(21) Widely opening the three constant Gates. — The three 
graces of Faith, Hope, and Love have been suggested by 
Mr. Yang, Dr. Legge and others. 

But we think that Ching-ching, Adam, the author of the 


Inscription here again adopted a Buddhist expression. 
Judging from the fact that "three Gates" must be the 
literal translation of the Sanskrit words, " Trividha Dvara," 
we think that purity of body, speech, and thought as the 
result of " purging the dust " from the human nature was 
implied by "widely opening the three constant Gates"— 
the three Gates being the gates of sensations — eye, ear, 
and nose. John Bunyan in his allegory of the Holy War 
similarly uses the expressions * Eye-gate," " Ear-gate," when 
describing " the Siege of Man-Soul." 

(22) He then took an oar in the Vessel of Mercy.— -This 
expression is decidedly Buddhistic. Kuan-yin or Avalo- 
kiteshvara, who is the Saviour of the faithful, is generally 
represented with a ship on her back owing to the commonly 
accepted tradition that Kuan-yin saves people from ship- 
wreck. One may understand by this that Kuan-yin rescues 
us from tJie shipwreck of life. This boat-shaped aureole is 
known in Japanese as " funazoko." So we may understand 
by the phrase that the author desired to express the truth 
of Jesus the Messiah being the Pilot of life and death, as in 
one of Lord Tennyson's most beautiful poems " Crossing the 
bar." (See p. 66, supra.) 

(23) The Palace of Light. — This means either Paradise or 
the High Heaven, the Empyrean where God dwells. The 
beautiful " New Jerusalem " described in the twenty-first 
chapter of the Book of Revelation is no other than this 
" Palace of Light " according to our common-sense reading, 
or Gokuraku-zodo, the Pure Land of Japanese Faith and Hope. 

(24) He returned to His original position in Heaven. 
— Lit. " He ascended to the true (nature)." That the 
Ascension of our Lord was meant here is quite clear. The 
idea was neither new nor strange to the Chinese of the Middle 
Ages since Lao-tzu, the old philosopher, was said to have 
ascended to Heaven, whilst the " Nirmanakaya " of the 
Buddhists had taught them that one of Buddha's three-fold 


embodiments (Trikaya) was capable of transformation, i.e. 
metamorphosis. But strange to say it was the Resurrection 
of our Lord itself that they could not easily accept, whilst 
some of the literati were altogether opposed to it. 

(25) The twenty-seven standard volumes of His SUtras. 
— Of course the Christian New Testament is meant. But 
this is very difficult to harmonise with the ordinary view, for 
the Syrian Churches accept only twenty-two of our New 
Testament books. The Nestorians of East Syria were slow 
to accept the four disputed general Epistles and the Book 
of Revelation, nor did these ever find their way into 
the Peshito Version. That they were recognised by the 
Nestorians in China in the eighth century is an important 
point for consideration by students of the Syrian canon. 

(26) His ministers carry the Cross, — This is the Cross of 
Christian symbolism. The author here passes from the work 
of Christ to that of His ministers and churches. In the 
East Syriac Daily Offices we find (pp. 57, 144) — "By the 
Cross of Thy light Thou hast illumined our knowledge ; " 
and again : "His lightnings lighted the world. The Cross 
of Light which was shown to Constantine in Heaven like 
a mighty one of the Virtues went at the head of the camp 
to war. And they were moved and astonished, the com- 
panies of the heathen who worships created things ; and they 
left off the error of heathenism and venerated and honoured 
the Cross." 

(27) They travel about wfierever the sun shines and try to 
re-unite those that are out of reach {i.e. beyond the pale). — 
This translation may be disputed. Compare the following 
different translations : 

(Abbe" Hue) "The sign of the Cross unites the four 
quarters of the world, and restores the harmony that had 
been destroyed." 

(Wylie) "As a seal, they hold the Cross, whose influence 
is reflected in every direction, uniting all without distinction." 


(Legge) " His ministers bearing with them the seal of 
the Cross, diffuse a harmonising influence wherever the sun 
shines, and unite all together without distinction." 

(Moule) " The figure of ten, which is held as a badge, en- 
lightens the four quarters so as to unite (all) without exception " 
But we are^justified in translating as we do, because the 
Chinese character " Jung" (g^)» bein S P art of a verbal phrase 
Jung-t c ung (g4jfi)» sh o uld be rendered "go travelling 
about " or " melting " or u diffusing." Its original meaning is 
to go through " or " to pass from one place to another," or 
11 accommodate," whilst the latter part of the phrase may be 
rendered " try to reach those that are out of the way " (or 
"beyond the pale") i.e. lit. "try to catch those for whom 
there is no catching." The idea is that the Gospel of our 
Lord is all-sufficient to save even the outcasts and forsaken 
sinners. (See Hebrews v. 2, 12, 13.) 

(28) Striking tJie «/<?<w*— This doubtless refers to the 
church music of the Nestorian mission in China in the eighth 
century. That they struck the wood is quite certain, but how 
and when they did so our Inscription does not say. We 
think, however, that the time and the way in which they 
struck the wood in the church services can be made clear to 
us through "the striking of the wood" preserved in Japanese 
Buddhism-more especially in the Shinshu (U "The True 
Religion Sect ") founded by the renowned Shinran Shonin 
(1 173-1262 A.D.), who laid the foundation of the Hongwanji 
Temple at Kyoto. 

The wood is four or five inches long and about one inch 
wide The priest holds a piece in each hand and strikes the 
two pieces together. This " striking of the wood " is usually 
done whilst the priest recites "The Three Books on the 
Amitabha Doctrine "- the larger Sukhavati Vyuha the 
smaller Sukhavati Vyuha, and the Amitayurdhyana Sutras. 
The reciting or reading of the sutras takes place whilst the 
wood is struck or chimed in a regular, methodical way. 1 he 


sound assists the Buddhist temple service as the organ does 
the singing in a Christian church. 

This " striking of two pieces of wood " is quite different 
from the " beating of the board " in Buddhist temples, which 
is done for utilitarian purposes rather than for musical 
purposes. For instance, the time to rise or to go to bed in 
a monastery is indicated by beating the " wood " or " board." 

The origin and history of " striking wood " as a part of 
the musical service in a temple are not fully known. All we 
know is that the Nestorians struck the wood, and so does 
the Shin-shu sect of Japanese Buddhism ; that " the striking 
of the wood " is peculiar to the Shin-shu, and that the beating 
of the " wooden fish * (^C jgfl) is peculiar to the most ancient 
Mahayana Buddhist sects in China and Japan. 

In India a large gong called " Ghanta " was used, which 
also found its way vid Khotan to China and thence to Japan. 
This is mentioned by the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsien (^ ]|j|) 
in his travels, A.D. 400. So the two pieces of wood, with a 
gong, drum, and a pair of symbols, now form the musical 
instruments of the Shin-shu sect as well as of other sects. 

We read in "The Book of Governors" (Vol. II., p. 244) : 
that " when the sacristan rose up to beat the board to summon 
the congregation for the office of the night, behold, he saw 
that all the nut-trees had come round about the church, and 
in his joy he went to where the Bishop was sleeping to 
announce to him the departure of the trees." This is quite 
different from the above-mentioned " striking of the wood " 
or the beating of the " wood-fish." 

(29) They turn ceremoniously to the East, — Worshipping 
toward the East is the regular Nestorian custom. A most 
interesting passage from "The Book of Governors," Vol. II., 
p. 274, translated by Dr. Budge, throws great light not only 
on the eastward position of the Nestorian use, but also upon 
their clerical life in the seventh and eighth centuries. 

"And once when he (Bishop Maran-Zekha) was journeying 


along the road to that mountain (the mountain of the village 
of Zinai), he saw the figure of a man standing on the top of 
a hill with his face turned towards the East, and as he drew 
near to it, he heard him raising (his voice) in the hymn of 
the Resurrection from the Communion Service of the first 
day of the week, which beginneth, * Come, all ye peoples, let 
us move our lips,' and little by little he went up and came 
close to him. Maran-Zekha, before he perceived that man, 
wondered how this pastor of camels was able to sing this 
hymn which was so difficult that not every man was capable 
of singing it, and where he had learned it ? And when the 
holy Maran-Zekha saw him he marvelled, and cried out in 
the customary way ' Peace ' ; but that blessed man answered 
him in Arabic, speaking in barbarous language wishing to 
disguise himself. 

" Bishop Maran-Zekha fell down before him and affirming 
with oaths said, ' I will not rise up until thou dost promise 
me that thou wilt not hide from me who thou art.' — * If 
thou art an Arab as thou sayest (by the speech), where didst 
thou learn this hymn of the Resurrection of our Lord which 
very few men are found to have ability enough to sing ? and 
why were thy arms and face turned toward tJie East ? ' . . . 
And he answered, saying, ■ Behold, Master, forty years ago 
I was appointed Bishop of the Scattered who were in 
the land of Egypt. When I had ministered in this office a 
short time, a scarcity of rain took place there, and I gathered 
together the believers and went forth (with them) to the 
desert to make supplication and entreaty to God. And 
those Arabs who dwell in tents surrounded me, and while 
every one else escaped, I remained, because I thought that 
they would do me no harm ; and they took me captive and 
brought me to their tents, and appointed me to be the 
shepherd of these camels which thou seest— I remembered 
that many of the saints were shepherds, and I am comforted. 
And as for this hymn which thou didst hear to-day, behold 


I am accustomed each day to perform the service of festival 
of the Lord, and to watch, and to-day I performed the 
service of the Resurrection of our Lord, and lifted up my 
voice in the hymn as if I had been standing in the temple 
before the altar of our Lord." 

(30) They preserve the beard, — tliey shave the crown. — This 
symbolic explanation is very curious. There is no end to 
the possible reasons. 

The Buddhist priests shaved the crown, and so did the 
Nestorians. The upper class Chinese and literati at that 
time wore beards, and so did the Nestorian missionaries. 
The Nestorians seem to us to have adopted good things from 
others, and explained their reasons for so doing. 

The custom seems to us to be reminiscent of the words 
of our Lord recorded by St. John xvii. 15, "I do not ask 
Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from 
the evil." 

Some of the Nestorian priests were high officials in the 
Chinese Court, and others even occupied military positions 
as staff officers, vested in their monastic robes, as shown in 
the Inscription itself. (See also p. xcix. Vol. I., Yule's 
■ Cathay and Way Thither.") 

That upper class society in China was considerably 
influenced by the Nestorian's theistic conceptions of the 
world, may be seen from the contemporary writings of the 
T'ang period. 

(31) They observe fasting in order that they may subdue 
"knowledge"— they keep the vigil so that tliey may keep 
" precept "—The word "knowledge" in this phrase is an 
especially Buddhistic one. It is the Chinese for the Sans- 
krit "vidjnana," and means a "knowledge of what defiles 
the mind." To subdue "knowledge" is to purify various 

This expression is a counter-part of the phrase " purging 
away the dust" used in the Inscription. What is called 


" exemption from all knowledge " is the fifth of the Dharma- 
kaya attributes. " Observing the Precepts " means again 
exemption from all materialism ("rupa") in which lust 
comes first. 

(32) Seven times a day . . . prayers for the dead. — This is 
what the Japanese Buddhists call "e-ko" (|gj [p]) (lit. 
44 turn toward "). 

In other words, " To comfort the spirit of the departed 
through the merit and virtue of the reading of sutras, and 
by virtue, or the sheer force of prayers offered or said by 
the living, so as to make the departed turn toward (the 
living). The Buddhist ■ Communion of Saints ' is meant by 
4 e-ko.* " 

The idea is very familiar to all the Japanese as well as 
to the Chinese. Thus whether consciously, or unconsciously, 
Buddhists admit the existence of the soul, or else it were 
useless to pray for the dead if they be indeed dead in body 
and soul {i.e. absolutely extinct). This prayer for the dead 
is most natural to those who believe in the survival of the 
Soul and in the life beyond the Tomb. 

The Nestorians were great believers in the prayer for the 
dead. The names on their Diptychs were recited every time 
at their worship. The idea of Ancestral commemoration 
naturally led to prayers being offered for the departed as 
well as for those that are living. 

The Shin-gon shu (jj| =f ^) pray for the living and for 
the dead more than any other Buddhist sect, whilst the 
Shin-shu (jf| 5^) do not pray— at least profess not to pray 
— for the living at all. They do not pray even for the dead 
in the sense that other sects do. 

This fact was well proved at the time preceding and 
following the death of our late Emperor (on the 30th of 
July, 19 1 2). All sects, whether Shinto, Buddhist, Christian 
or non-Christian, prayed for the recovery of the Emperor's 
health, with the exception of the Shin-shu who could not 


participate in doing so. Dr. M. Anesaki, professor of Com- 
parative Religion in the Tokyo Imperial University, in writing 
to the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun (the largest paper in Japan) on 
the 3rd of August, 191 2, emphasised this point. 

(33) Once in seven days . . . a sacrifice without animals. — 
The Chinese character "chien" (jj|§) really means "a 
sacrifice without an animal." It is quite clear from these 
words that the celebration of the Holy Communion was 
observed weekly by the Assyrian Church in China. " Once 
in seven days " of course means " once a week on the First 
day" — for they kept Sundays and not the Sabbath or 
Seventh day. 

(34) This ever true and unchanging Way is mysterious, 
and is almost impossible to name. — This expression must 
have been derived from Taoism. Compare these words 
with those of Lao-tzu : * The Way, so long as it remains 
absolute, is unnameable " ; or with " When obliged to give it 
a name, I made an effort to call it The Great Way." 
(Chapters xxv. and xxxii., of the Tao-te-ching.) 

That Adam, the author of the Nestorian Inscription, 
though a Persian by birth, was as well versed in Taoism as in 
Buddhism is quite evident. 

(35) But at any rate, The Way would not spread so widely 
had it not been for the Sage, and the Sage would not have been 
so great, etc. — These are perhaps the most difficult expressions 
in the whole Inscription. Compare the following translations : 

(Hue) " Learning alone without sanctity has no grandeur ; 
sanctity without learning makes no progress. When learning 
and sanctity proceed harmoniously, the Universe is adorned 
and resplendent." 

(Wylie) " Now without holy men, principles cannot 
become expanded ; without principles, holy men cannot 
become magnified ; but with holy men and right principles, 
united as the two parts of a signet, the world becomes 
civilised and enlightened." 


(Legge) "But any (such) system without (the fostering 
of) the sage (sovereign) does not attain its full development, 
and a sage (sovereign) without the aid of such a system 
does not become great. Let the sage (sovereign) and the 
(right) system came together like the two halves of a seal 
or convenant, and the world will become polished and 

(Moule) " Doctrine without a prophet will not flourish ; a 
prophet without doctrine will not be great ; when the doctrine 
and the prophet are closely united the world is civilised and 

In the Inscription, the Chinese character (ffi) is used 
which can be read either "indeed," or "really" (]j|f|), or 
"only" or "alone" (Hf|)- In some cases it is read for "at 
any rate." Here again the calligrapher exercised the privi- 
lege of which we have already spoken. 

In the Inscription the character literally means " only," 
but " at any rate," or " however " is also possible. " The 
Way' 1 means " the True and Unchanging Way" mentioned 
above. That is to say, Christianity (" the True Way ") would 
not have spread so widely had it not been for the Sage. 

According to Chinese ideas, "sheng" or Sage means (1) 
omniscience personified, or (2) omniscient man, or (3) perfect 
virtue and perfect knowledge personified in a sovereign. 
Here, no doubt, Adam, the author, employed the word in 
the sense of No. 3, ■ Omniscience personified in the Sove- 
reign " or " All-knowing." 

(36) Tai-Tsung, the Emperor.-— -This is the posthumous 
name of Li Shih-min (^ i£ Jg), the second son of Li Yuan, 
known in the annals of Pang as Kao-Tsu, the founder of 
the Dynasty, A.D. 618. 

Li Yuan had two other sons— one older and one younger 
than T'ai-Tsung. The elder was the Crown Prince, who from 
mere envy, if we believe Chinese history, united with the 
younger brother, known as Prince Ch'i (5^ J), in trying to 


murder T'ai-Tsung ; but T'ai-Tsung was more than a match 
for them, as he killed them both in 626 A.D., and after this 
bloody deed compelled his father Li Yuan to abdicate, and 
himself ascended the throne in 627 A.D., nine years before the 
Nestorian mission came. The death of Li Yuan was also 
mysterious and bloody. Some say that T'ai-Tsung was 
responsible for it ! But T'ai-Tsung was one of the best 
rulers that China ever had. 

(37) A -lo-pen.— That A-lo-pen or Alopun is aSyriac name 
there is no doubt. The " alo " or " olo " is an equivalent 
found in many Hebrew names beginning with " eli " or " el " 
— Elijah, El-nathan, etc. 

We insist that this A-lo-pen or Alopun is a personal or 
proper name, although ever since Sir Henry Yule started 
"the Alopun-Rabban theory" many years ago, almost all 
the recent writers have implicitly followed him. He says : 
" O-lo-pan — this name according to Pauthier is Syriac, Alo- 
pano signifying the ' Return of God \" If this, however, is an 
admissible Syriac name, it is singular that the original should 
have been missed by one so competent as Assemanni, who 
can only suggest that the name was the common Syriac name 
Jaballaha, of which the Chinese had dropped the first syllable, 
adding a Chinese termination. 

"Might not Olopan be merely a Chinese form of the 
Syriac Rabban, by which the apostle had come to be 
generally known ? 

" It is fair, however, to observe that the name in the 
older versions used by Assemanni is written Olopuen, which 
might have disguised from him the etymology proposed by 
Pauthier. The name of this personage does not appear in 
the Syriac part of the Inscription." (" Cathay and the Way 
Thither," Vol. L, p. 94.) 

Mr. Moule says — " The identification of A-lo-pen with the 
Syriac Raban is due to Colonel Yule, who is followed by 
Cheikho and Havret." 


Dr. K. Shiratori, professor of Oriental History in the 
Imperial University, Tokyo, also holds the same view. He 
says that "these Chinese always borrow one of the "a," "o," 
and "u" sounds to pronounce a proper noun beginning 
with the "r" sound ; for instance, they pronounce "O-russia" 
for " Russia." So this " Olopan "in Chinese would represent 
" Lopan," every " r " becoming " 1 " in Chinese pronunci- 
ation. " Rabban " would, according to his theory, be the 
nearest possible equivalent of " Alopan." 

But various reasons compel us to question this " Alopen- 

Rabban theory." 

First of all, it is not necessary to conclude that the 
Chinese cannot pronounce any foreign names beginning 
with a vowel because they always borrow "a" or "o" to 
pronounce foreign names beginning with " r." 

Secondly, in the Inscription A-lo-pen is called - Shang- 
te"-*.*. "Shang-te A-lo-pen." "Shang-te" literally means 
« High Virtue," and this honorific title may correspond to 
the Syriac "Rabban," as "Ta-te," Great-virtue, may do to 
the title of a "Bishop"-^- "Bishop George" who in the 
Inscription is designated "Great-virtue Giwargis." And, 
strange to say, this "Ta-te," Great-virtue, was commonly 
used by-the Buddhists whilst Taoists preferred Shang-te, 
High-virtue. This is another point which proves that the 
Nestorians in China adopted anything they thought was 
good whether it came from Buddhism or from Taoism. 

If we accept the « Alopen-Rabban theory we must 
translate "Shang-te A-lo-pen," ^^ ***+£ m 
"Rabban Rabban." That " Great-virtue stands for Bishop, 
and - High-virtue " for " Rabban " appears to us to be certain, 
whilst that the one is Buddhistic and the other Taoistic is 
abundantly proved from Chinese sources. 

StaStbban A-lo-pen was afterwards made the "Patron 
J^rii o'f the Empire," and styled "Great- 
lrSn;» or Bishop A-lo-pen, as in another part 


of the Inscription. So he must have been already a Bishop 
when he arrived in China at the head of his missionary 
monks. His name appears thrice in this Inscription — once 
as " High-virtue A-lo-pen," then " Great-virtue A-lo-p£n," 
and lastly without any honorifics. This shows that " A-lo- 
p£n" was regarded by the Chinese as a personal proper 
name beyond all doubt. 

Thirdly, Etheridge, the author of " the Syriac Church," 
gives also Yabh-allaha for " Alopen " (after Assemanni) and 
interprets it as " the Conversion of God." 

The name " Yabh-allaha " occurs more than once in the 
famous " Book of Governors " ; and this agrees with what 
Assemanni said, that the name was an ordinary Syriac one. 
" The Book of Governors " says that one Yabh-allaha was the 
founder of monasteries in Babylonia and Arabia in 385 A.D. 
Another Yabh-allaha was Bishop of Gilan, and brother to 
Kardagh, both of whom did good work in Central Asia 
during the Patriarch Timothy's reign (781-824 A.D.). (See 
4< The Book of Governors," Vol. I., p. cxxxi.) 

Finally, our view is confirmed by a newly discovered 
Inscription which is seventy years older than the Nestorian 
Inscription itself. 

It is called " The Inscription on the Stone-tablet set up in 
memory of the late great Persian chief, the General and 
commander of the right wings of the Imperial Army of T'ang 
(i.e. China) with the title of Grand Duke of Chin-ch'eng chiin 
(in Kan-su) and the Rank of Shang-chu-kuo " ( \^ ^ §|) 
(lit. The first-class corner-stone of the Empire). In the first 
line we have the name " A-lo-han n (fpj $j| ^). It runs : 

"This is the Stone-tablet erected in memory of A-lo-han, 
a Persian prince by birth and the most illustrious of the 
whole tribe." 

For the full text of the Inscription, see Appendix 
No. I. 

To- say that "A-lo-pen" is a personal proper noun is 


one thing, but to identify him with " Yabh-allaha " is quite 

Although Assemanni and M. Pauthier may be correct 
in suggesting " Yabh-allaha " for " A-lo-p£n," we should like to 
point out that "Lo-han" (JH ^), whether in the Nestorian 
Inscription at Hsi-an-fu or in the Jewish Inscription at K'ai- 
feng-fu in Honan, stands for " Abraham," and we are there- 
fore tempted to surmise that " A-lo-p£n "—whose Japanese 
sound is " Arohon " — is originally the same as that found in 
the newly-discovered Inscription, viz. " Alohan," which would 
be sounded " Arohan " by the Japanese, by whom the Pang 
sound of the Chinese letters is far better preserved than 
among the modern Chinese. 

If we compare the Chinese characters for " Lo-han " and 
" A-lo-han " or u A-lo-p$n," we cannot fail to see that what 
we assert is founded on a sound basis. 

(38) The Kingdom of Ta-ck in.— This Kingdom means 
Judea as in note seventeen where the Birth of our Lord 
is mentioned. Here probably it indicates more particularly 
the Province of Syria in the Roman Empire of the 


(39) He decided to carry the true Siltras.— Here, again, 
the usual Chinese character for the Buddhist word "Sutras" 
is employed. The word " Sutras " of course means " Canon," 
and may mean "the Holy Scriptures," or - The Bible." We 
feel certain from the other part of this Inscription, as well as 
from Prof. Pelliot's recent discovery, that the Bible, or at 
least a *reat part of the Holy Scriptures, must have been 
translated into Chinese by the end of the eighth century A.D. 

(40) Cheng-kuan Period.— This period lasted twenty-three 
years, and exactly corresponds to the reign of the Emperor 
Tai-Tsung, who, on the abdication of his father in 627 
a.d. ascended the throne and named the Era " Cheng-kuan." 
He died in A.D. 649. 

The ninth year of Cheng-kuan (A.D. 635) was that in 


which the mysterious death of his father, the abdicated 
Emperor Li Yuan, occurred. The arrival of the Nestorian 
Mission was also in that same ninth year of the Cheng-kuan 
period (A.D. 635). 

(41) Duke Fang Hsuan-ling. — This man was one of the 
four greatest statesmen who lived and died during the three 
hundred years of the T'ang Dynasty. Amongst these foui 
statesmen, Fang Hsuan-ling and Tu Ju-hui ;££ Ifjl Q& 
belong to the reign of T'ai-Tsung, Yao Ch'ung iffe & and 
Sung Ching to that of Hsiian-Tsung, 713-754 a.d. 

Duke Fang was born at Lin-ssti ([£§j y0), 577 a.D. His 
father was the Governor of Ching-yang (Jg |y|). When 
T'ai-Tsung marched against the Northern Wei with his army 
in 613 A.D., Fang Hsuan-ling, at the head of his clan, offered 
himself to the Emperor's service, and ever after they were 
great friends. He was a man of learning and culture, and is 
considered to have been the very best type of a faithful and 
capable Minister. He served the Emperor T'ai-Tsung as 
Minister of State for fifteen years, and held a position in 
China similar to that which Prince von Bismarck held in 
recent years in Germany. 

(42) The Stitras were translated, etc. — We are not yet in 
a position to say which parts of the Bible were actually 
translated. The word " sutras M used here literally means 
" standard books," and may mean the Bible, or the Scriptures, 
but it may also mean the Church literature. 

In the year 1908 A.D., Prof. Paul Pelliot found a list of 
the names of some 35 Nestorian "sutras" translated into 
Chinese besides 22 Diptychs in Chinese at Sha-chou, China. 
Although we cannot identify them all, it is certain that 
the term " Sutras " is used for anything which resembles a 
" Catechism" or a u Commentary." And in our Introduction 
we mentioned how Adam, the author of the Nestorian 
Inscription, was engaged in translating the Buddhist 
scriptures. If the Assyrian monks could spare time to 


translate Buddhist works as well as their own literature, 
how much more time they must have given to Bible 
translation ! 

So the expression " the sutras were translated " may mean 
the translation of parts, if not the whole, of the Bible. That 
capable men were found to aid the missionaries in translating 
Christian literature into Chinese may be clearly seen both from 
the composition and the style of the Nestorian Inscription. 

(43) The Imperial Rescript— The attitude of the Emperor 
T'ai-Tsung towards Religion in general, whether Christianity 
or Buddhism, is well disclosed in this Rescript. We give 
different translations so that the real meaning of the Chinese 
Emperor may not be misunderstood : 

(Abbe Hue) * In the twelfth year of Tching-Kouan in the 
seventh moon, during the autumn, the new Edict was pro- 
mulgated in these terms : 

"The Doctrine has no fixed name, the holy has no 
determinate substance ; it institutes religions suitable to 
various countries, and carries men in crowds in its track. 
Olopen, a man of Ta-Thsin, and of lofty virtue, bearing 
Scriptures and images, has come to offer them in the Supreme 
Court After a minute examination of the spirit of this 
religion, it has been found to be excellent, mysterious^and 
specific. The contemplation of its radical principle gives birth 
to perfection, and fixes the will. It is exempt from verbosity ; 
it considers only good results. It is useful to men, and 
consequently ought to be published under the whole extent 
of the heavens. I, therefore, command the magistrates to 
have a Ta-Thsin temple constructed in the quarter named 
I-ning of the Imperial city, and twenty-one religious men 
shall be installed therein." 

(Leese) - Systems have not always the same name ; sages 
have not always the same personality. Every region has its 
appropriate doctrines, which by their imperceptible influence 
benefit the inhabitants. The greatly virtuous Olopun of the 


kingdom of T& Ts'in, bringing his scriptures and images from 
afar, has come and presented them at our High Capital. 
Having carefully examined the scope of his doctrines, we find 
them to be mysterious, admirable, and requiring nothing 
(special) to be done ; having looked at the principal and most 
honoured points in them, they are intended for the establish- 
ment of what is most important. Their language is free 
from troublesome verbosity ; their principles remain when 
the immediate occasion for their delivery is forgotten ; (the 
system) is helpful to (all) creatures, and profitable for men : — 
let it have free course throughout the empire." 

(Wylie) " Right principles have no invariable name, holy 
men have no invariable station ; instruction is established in 
accordance with the locality, with the object of benefiting the 
people at large. The Greatly Virtuous Alopun of the 
kingdom of Syria, has brought his Sacred books and images 
from that distant part, and has presented them at our chief 

* Having examined the principles of this religion, we find 
them to be purely excellent and natural ; investigating its 
originating source, we find it has taken its rise from the 
establishment of important truths; its ritual is free from 
perplexing expressions, its principles will survive when the 
framework is forgot ; it is beneficial to all creatures ; it is 
advantageous to mankind. Let it be published throughout 
the Empire, and let the proper authority build a Syrian 
church in the capital in the E-ning Way, which shall be 
governed by twenty-one priests. When the virtue of the 
Chow dynasty declined, the rider on the azure ox ascended 
to the west ; the principles of the great Pang becoming 
resplendent, the Illustrious breezes have come to fan the 

(Moule) " Teaching has no immutable name, holy men 
have no unchanging method. Religions are founded to suit 
(respectively, different) lands, that all the masses of men may 


be saved. Raban of the land of Syria, a man of great virtue, 
bringing Scriptures and images from far has come to offer 
them at the chief metropolis. The meaning of his religion 
has been carefully examined ; it is mysterious, wonderful, 
full of repose. His fundamental principle has been reviewed ; 
it fixes the essentials of life and perfection. In its outward 
expression there is no multitude of words; in its inward 
principle there is (laying stress on the end,) forgetting the 
means. It is the salvation of living beings, it is the wealth 
of men. It is right that it should spread through the 
domains of the Empire. Therefore let there be built in the 
I-ning quarter of the metropolis a monastery of Syria, and 
let twenty-one men be duly admitted as monks. When the 
virtue of the ancestral house of Chou failed, the dark chariot 
went up toward the West ; now that the doctrine of the great 
house of Tang is bright, a favourable breeze blows towards 

the East." . .. 

We are quite sure that the Imperial Rescript ends with 
the word "Empire"; and that the words-" the proper 
authorities accordingly, etc."-were not included therein. 
But Hue, Wylie, and Moule treated these words as though 
they were included in the Rescript. 

We consider that Dr. Legge was perfectly right on this 
point, and that the other translators must have overlooked 
the important Chinese adverb (BP) " accordingly » or "upon 

What is recorded in "the T'ang Hui-yao" (jf Jf g) 
may be cited against our opinion, but that book, although 
originally written in 982 A.D. (as all scholars know£ was 
almost entirely rewritten in the time of Ch'ien-lung (Jg &) 
I736-I705 A.D. That is to say, the whole book was re- 
compiled more than a hundred years after the new y 
discovered Nestorian Inscription itself was made known to 
the literary world in China, and the text in the old Tang 
Hui-yao was possibly - improved " in the revision. 


At any rate, the Imperial Proclamation, or Rescript, 
begins with "The Way had not, etc.," and ends with the 
words "throughout the Empire." How far the Emperor 
borrowed the idea for his Rescript from Taoism may be 
readily seen by comparing Lao-tzu's words in the Tao-te- 
ching (Jf fg j&). 

" The Way that can be named as a Way is not the Eternal 
Way" " The name that can be named (as a Name) is not 
the Eternal Name." Again, in Chapter XXXII. of Lao-tzu's 
book, we read : 

" The Way, so long as it remains absolute, is unnameable." 

The Emperor Tai-Tsung's opinion of the Nestorian 
Teaching, twelve hundred and thirty-five years ago, is the 
very same as that which the majority of intellectual Japanese 
and Chinese hold to-day. The Japanese poet who sang : 

" Wa ke no bo ru 
Fu moto no michi wa 
Kotonare do 
Onaji takane no 
Tsuki wo miru kana." 
" By differing Ways the mountain height we climb 
For one intent, — the Moon that shines sublime ! " 

pretty nearly expressed what T'ai-Tsung intended to say in 
his Edict. But this attitude of the Chinese Emperor and his 
people explains why religious persecution pure and simple 
never took place in the Far East. What is called " Religious 
Persecution" in the history of China and Japan was not 
usually caused by religion, pure and simple, but by political 
or " economic " reasons. 

That the Chinese were either very liberal or very in- 
different — they were then far from entertaining an exclusive 
and self-conceited race feeling — can be seen from these words 
of the Emperor : 

11 Truth is often of a dual character, taking the form of a 


magnet with two poles ; and many of the differences which 
agitate the thinking part of mankind are traced to the 
exclusiveness with which partisan reasoners dwell upon one 
half of the duality in forgetfulness of the other." 

We think that Alexander Pope was right in saying, 
"There is nothing wanting to make all rational and dis- 
interested people in the world of One Religion, but that they 
should talk together every day." 

(44) Ta-ckin Monastery, — This name must have been used 
ex post facto, for we read in the Imperial Edict of the 
Emperor Hsuan-Tsung that the monastery acquired the 
official name of the " Ta-ch'in Monastery " for the first time 
in 745 A.D. Prior to that date it was known as "the Persian 
Monastery." That Imperial Edict says : 

" The Luminous Religion of Persia was originally started 
in Ta-ch'in. It is long since this Religion came to be preached 
here. Now it is practised by many, spreading throughout 
the Middle Kingdom. When they first built monasteries we 
gave them the name of ' Persia-Temple ' (because of their 
supposed origin). In order that all men might know the 
(real and true) origin of what are commonly known as 
'Persian monasteries' in the two capitals (the names) are 
henceforth to be changed to the Ta-ch'in Monasteries. Let 
those also which are established in all parts of the Empire 
follow this (example)." 

This shows that there was more than one Nestorian 
Monastery in the capital, whilst it also shows that the official 
name "Ta-ch'in Monastery" originated in 745 A- D -> although 
the monastery itself was founded in 638 A.D., three years 
after the arrival of the Nestorian missionary band under 
" the Great- Virtue A-lo-pen." 

(45) The I-ning Ward.- The word " I " means " Righteous- 
ness," whilst " ning " means "Repose." The ward was on 
the left-hand side facing towards the Imperial Palace, and 
in the second street below the Imperial Palace. 


The city of Hsi-an-fu {i.e. Ch'ang-an) was planned almost 
square, as we see in the old map. The Japanese city of 
Kyoto was built after the model of Ch'ang-an about twelve 
hundred years ago. If we compare Kyoto with Ch'ang-an 
we find that where the Nijo Castle now stands would be the 
spot where the Ta-ch'in Monastery was built by Imperial 
order for the Nestorians in 638 A.D., and one street lower 
down and one street towards the centre would be the 
Buddhist convent where our Kobo Daishi dwelt when he 
was in Ch'ang-an during 804-806 a.d. 

(46) Twenty-one priests were ordained and attached to it. — 
These twenty-one priests may have been Chinamen. A few 
years must have elapsed before the monastery was built, and 
twenty-one persons fitted to receive Ordination. 

Our author, Ching-ching (Adam), goes on to describe how 
this newly-built monastery was adorned with the portrait of 
the great Emperor T'ai-Tsung. 

That the monastery was built and supported by the 
Government is clearly seen from the force of the term 
"attached to it/' in addition to its title "ssii" (^f)— " Ta- 
ch'in-ssu" (see note 5, p. 185, supra). 

(47) The virtue of the honoured House of Chou had died 
away. — This means that the great moral influence exercised 
by such men as the Duke of Chou (J|) ^) (770-727 B.C.), 
and by Confucius (551 B.C.) and his followers, had departed 
long before the Pang Dynasty arose to restore the moral 
code of the nation by means of its good government, for the 
chief reason for political revolution in China has always been 
the maintenance of the moral code of the nation. 

" The reign of Duke of Chou " in Chinese thought means 
the Golden Age of the past and the Ideal state of the future. 

In Hebrew thought the Mosaic Age meant much the same. 
And in China the past Golden Age or "ideally-fulfilled 
State " was the reign of the Duke of Chou. 

On the one hand the degenerate condition of China had 


continued ever since the virtue of the honoured House of 
Chou disappeared ; the prevailing disorder was the result of 
this. And this fact was a very good reason why Pai-Tsung 
and his father should supplant the Sui Dynasty. On the 
other hand, the ■ rider on the black chariot," i.e. Lao-tzu 
(604 B.C.), having ascended to the Western Heaven, the 
Chinese people had been left without moral guidance ; and 
this might be utilized as a good argument for the Nestorians' 
coming to China and bringing a Religion for the Chinese 

As in politics the Pang supplanted the Sui Dynasty, so 
in religion the Nestorians ought to succeed the Taoists. These 
are the ideas conveyed in the expressions of the Inscription. 

(48) " The rider on the black chariot" — In this expres- 
sion the author alludes to the old philosopher Lao-tzu 
who disappeared from the country on such an animal, and 
was supposed never to have died. The meaning of these 
two sentences is : " The virtue of the honoured House of 
Chou had died away ; the rider on the black chariot 
having ascended to the West, darkness reigned throughout 
China. But virtue revived and was manifested once more at 
the moment when the great Tang Dynasty began its rule, 
and the breezes of the Luminous Religion blowing Eastward 
refreshed it" 

Among the fragments of old documents found by Prof. 
Paul Pelliot at Sha-chou (& >JH) in 1908, there is a book 
entitled " The Sutras explaining Lao-tzu's ascent to the 
Western (Heaven) and His Incarnation in the Land of Hu " 

(* ^ n # ft $ «)■ In other words * " A re - inca ™ a - 

tion of Lao-tzu in the Western Land." The author of this 
book suggests another Incarnation of the Tao ( jg) or " Way" 
(i.e. the Logos in the Chinese sense). 

It is remarkable that the founder of the White Lotus 
Guild in Southern China Hui-yiian, the disciple of Tao-an, the 
Chinese monk from Che-kiang who learned the Mahayana 


literature at Yeh (|J§l |flj) (Chang-te-fu) in Northern China 
in the middle of the third century from Buddho-chinga, a 
monk from Gandhara in India, taught that the books of 
Lao-tzu were a necessary introduction to the teaching of 
Ashvaghosa and Nagarjuna ; just as St. Paul said that the 
Law was a schoolmaster to bring the Jews to Christ. And 
this White Lotus Guild taught the Amitabha-Doctrine of 
Salvation by Faith. 

The personal name of the author of the book discovered 
by Prof. Pelliot is lost, and there is no knowing who and what 
he was ; but he evidently tried to argue that the Sages in the 
West, whether Sakyamuni or others, were but re-incarnations 
in their respective lands. He insisted that the Sages were 
all the same ; and that if they were not the same, they could 
not be Sages. The differences between them, according to 
this author, are only in name or appellation. 

And this agrees with the opinion expressed by the 
Emperor T'ai-Tsungas preserved in the Nestorian Inscription: 
* Sages have no fixed or immutable body." 

(49) A faithful portrait of the Emperor. — This must be 
the first time that the Chinese Emperor's portrait was ever 
painted on the wall of a Christian monastery. Many years 
afterwards when Hsiian-Tsung (742-792 A.D.) sent the five 
Imperial portraits to the monastery, he only followed the 
good example set by the Emperor T'ai-Tsung in 638 A.D. 

Fresco portraits painted on the wall were at that time 
quite fashionable, as is proved by those discovered lately at 
Khotan (^j 1 g(|) and in the Caves of tne Thousand Buddhas 
at Tun-huang (|fc jg. =f- $} flpj) in Central Asia, by Sir A. 
Stein as well as by the Rev. Z. Tachibana and Prof. Pelliot. 

(50) According to the descriptive Records of Western Lands, 
and the historical works of the Han and Wei Dynasties, etc. 
—This description of Ta chin by the Nestorian missionary- 
priest in the eighth century makes the identification of 
Ta-ch'in rather difficult 


It is no wonder that Dr. Legge, despite all his knowledge 
of China and things Chinese, regretfully says : " I could wish 
that this paragraph about Ta-Ts'in had not been put in the 
Inscription, and it is difficult to perceive the object which it 

We partly agree with this great Sinologue. But, apart 
from its original aim and purpose, does not this paragraph 
reveal to us the progress of the world in the course of twelve 
hundred years and that : 

" Through the ages one increasing Purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process 
of the Suns"? 

It was once so believed by the Nestorians and others in 
China ! 

Besides, this proves how keen the missionaries were in 
describing the good things in the home-land. The land of 
Buddha had hitherto been described as the best country in 
the world, but now we find the Land of the Luminous 
Religion described as the ideal country by the author of the 
Nestorian Inscription, who is quoting old Chinese books. 

(51) The Coral Sea.— This expression is not clear. It 
means either the Indian Ocean or the Red Sea, most probably 
the latter, for near Aden the coral reefs are dangerous to 
ships, hence the name of the entrance to the Red Sea, 
Bab-el-mandeb, "the Gate of Tears," for so many vessels 
are wrecked there. 

(52) The mountain of "All Precious Things."- -The 
Sanskit "Ratnaghiri (£ ll|) literally means ■ Precious 
Mount," and the mountain of that name is located near 
Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Magadha, India. But we 
cannot say that this is the mountain meant by the author of 
the Inscription. All we can say is that the author of the 
expression was somewhat influenced by, if he aid not 
actually borrow from, Buddhism. 


(53) Tfo Gardens of Immortals and the Flowery Forest. — 
The dwelling of the richi (^ J^) } Immortals, is known as 
Sravasti (^ J^ ^ ^), an ancient kingdom, 500 /z'N.W. of 
Kapilavastu, Sakyamuni's birthplace, and as a city near the 
river Sravasti which was a favourite resort of Sakyamuni. 
As early as the end of the sixth century A.D., it was a deserted 
ruin whilst the ancient name of Pataliputra (^ § jjjfc) 
was Kusumapura, " the city of Flowery Palaces." 

We are far from saying that what is written in the 
Inscription is to be identified with these Buddhist places, 
but we say that it is very plain that the expressions are 
borrowed from Buddhism. 

(54) The long winds and tlie weak waters. — The strong 
winds, or the winds that blow from a distant place, are often 
indicated by the expression "long winds." Then the phrase 
began to denote a great plain or desert from whence the 
people of that time imagined the winds to spring. In this 
passage, the " long winds n probably denote the great plain of 

The Chinese poet, Liu Tsung-yuan (773-819 A.D.) says : 
" In the mountains on the Western Sea there is a water (river) 
spreading out and having no strength (coherence) ; it does 
not carry even a trifling object, and whatever is put on its 
surface, will drop down to the bottom and remain there — 
whence it is called weak water." 

The weak waters on which nothing would float were the 
fabled protection of the Palace of Hsi Wang Mu (jgj ££ -fij). 
But no one knows who was Hsi Wang Mu and where she (or 
he) the mysterious person of Chinese legend dwelt. 

"The weak waters" in this Inscription may mean the 
Euphrates or Tigris. The mythological " Jo-shui " (|pjj 7JC) 
(weak waters) of the Chinese could be navigated only in skin 
boats. The idea is a familiar one to the ancients. Compare 
Herodotus (III., 23) who describes a fountain in Aethiopia, 
the water of which was so weak that nothing can float upon 


it, neither wood nor such things as are lighter than wood, but 
everything sinks to the bottom." 

(55) The soul-restoring incense. — The incense most com- 
monly known in Japan is "the Ansoku-ko," i.e. "An-hsi 
incense," which simply means " Parthian incense," " An-hsi- 
hsiang" (^J Jj, ^f), being the Chinese corruption for 
Arsakes, the founder of the Parthian Empire. This " soul- 
restoring incense " is very well known amongst the Japanese. 
It was no doubt introduced into Japan from Ch'ang-an. 

"The soul-restoring incense" is, of course, different 
from the "An-hsi incense," because their uses are quite 
different. The name of the soul-restoring incense is also 
well known to us through the popular literature in which 
its name very often occurs. 

(56) The Emperor Kao-Tsung. — He was the son of T'ai- 
Tsung, his mother being the Empress Chang-sun. In 
Chinese history he is known as a great Taoist. In 666 A.D., 
he went himself to Hao (${), the native place of Lao-tzu, to 
visit the old Philosopher's temple in person, and bestowed 
the posthumous honour of " the greatest Sovereign Lord of 
the Most Mysterious Origin" upon that great Taoist 

It was during this Emperor's reign that the famous Chinese 
Shan-tao,Ta-shih (# *J| ^ UP) Hved and died A.D. 612-680, 
whilst his teacher Tao-ch'o Ta-shih (3||$ ^CW) died in 
645 a.d. It is very curious that the name of the Japanese 
Buddhism reformed by Shinran Shonin should bear the same 
name as that mentioned in the Inscription, viz. "the True 
Religion " (jg£ ££), and that for both precisely the same 
Chinese ideograph is used. Is it any wonder that the 
Nestorians made progress under an emperor like this Kao- 
Tsung ? 

(57) He caused monasteries of the Luminous Religion to be 
erected in every Prefecture. — Similarly, in 690 A.D., the 
Empress Wu, as Chinese history records, " caused monasteries 


of the Great Cloud Religion (^ § ^f ) to be erected in 
every Prefecture." 

According to the Ch'ang-an Topography by Sung Min-ch'iu 
(995 A.D.) the Hai-yen Ward, where the first monastery of 
this " Great Cloud Religion " was built, was not far from the 
I-ning Ward where the first Nestorian monastery was built. 
The Emperor T'ai-Tsung, it is said, wrote the tablet inscribed 
with the four Chinese characters, " Great-Cloud-Bright-Light " 
(:fc§I^J 53) on fc and Save it to "the Great Cloud 
Religion " monastery. 

Again, in 741 A.D., the Japanese Emperor Shomu followed 
the good example of the Chinese emperor and caused a 
Buddhist monastery to be built in every province of Japan 

The Monastery in every prefecture mentioned in the 
Nestorian Inscription was the first example of the kind. So 
we may say that the Japanese " Koku-bun-ji," i.e. "a 
State-monastery in every Prefecture," may be very indirectly 
connected with the Nestorian Church in China. 

Many Chinese authorities are inclined to think that this 
" Ta-yiin ssu," " the Great Cloud Religion monastery," built 
by the Empress Wu, was a Manichean temple, whilst others 
try to identify it with a Nestorian monastery. 

Personally we believe the monastery of the H Great Cloud 
Religion " to have been a Mosque. Mohammedanism in 
China began by Mohammed sending his own maternal uncle, 
Wah Abi Kobsha, by sea as an envoy to the Emperor T'ai- 
Tsung in A.D. 628, who granted authority to build mosques 
in Canton together with the free exercise of the religion. 
(Dabry de Thiersant : " Mahometanisme en Chine," I., 


Moreover, as it was either from the priests of the " Great 

Cloud Religion " or of the Nestorian Monastery that the 

Chinese government obtained interpreters of the Uigur 

language (JbJ fjj|) — the men of the Uigur tribes were faithful 


mercenaries to the Chinese Emperor Hsiian-Tsung in 755 
A.D. — they probably spoke the same language if they were 
not of the same religious belief. 

(58) Ten provinces. — In his first year (627 A.D.) Tai-tsung 
divided the whole empire into " Shih Tao " or Ten Provinces, 
viz. — 

(1) Kuan-nei (|||] j^]), lit. "within the citadel" or 
"inside the Gates." The province was called by different 
names in Chinese history,— Kuan-cluing (f$J] tfl) (Ch'in, 
255-206 B.C.); Wei-nan (ff ^}) (Han, 206 B.C.-25 A.D.) ; 
Yung-chou (ItljN 1 !) (Eastern Han, 25-221 A.D.) ; Yung- 
nsing(^c^) (Sung, 960-1127 A.D.) ; An-hsi (^ g) 
(Yuan and Ming, 1260-1644 A.D.). It belongs to the present 
province of Shensi (gj£ jgj ^),and its capital is the famous 
city of Hsi-an, the ancient capital of all China. 

(2) Ho-nan (ftf $f ), lit. ■ South of the River." Its 
literary name is Yu-chou ( Jfc jN*l), and ' lt corresponds to the 
present Honan and Shantung. 

(3) Ho-tung (|BJ ^), lit. " East of the River." It is 
part of the ancient Chi-chou (]K j\\), and corresponds to 
the present province of Shansi (UJ ffi ^)- 

(4) Ho-pei ($f ;fc), lit. " North of the River." It com- 
prised parts of the ancient Chi-chou (H jHI) and Yu-chou 
d£^H)> and corresponds approximately to the present 
province of Chihli (jg $$ ^g). 

(5) Shan-nan (\1\ fljf), lit. " South of the Mountain." 
This represented the ancient Ching-chou ($ lj jft) and 
Liang-chou ($£ #|), and corresponds to the present province 

of Hupei m ft 4)- 

(6) Lung-yu (ffi #), lit. "the right side of the Moun- 
tain called ' Lung.'" It is the ancient Ch'in-chou (§§§ j^f), 
and belongs to the present province of Kansu (-# )$f ^£). 

(7) Huai-nan (*;§ ]S), lit. "South of the Huai." Anciently 
called Yang-chou (J§ jHH) » corresponds now to the 
province of Anhui (t£ jj§fc $£) 


(8) Chiang-nan (££ ^f), lit. " the South of the Yangtze- 
kiang." It was a large province comprising the two present 
provinces of Chekiang (jftft ££ ^) and Kiangsi (££ [flj ^), 
and large parts of Kiangsu, Fukien, and Hunan. 

(9) Chien-nan (JgjJ ^), lit. "the South of Mount Chien." 
Its ancient name is not known, but it formed a part 
of the ancient Liang-chou (|j£ j^\), and is now a part of the 
Ssuch'uan province (JJEJ )\\ ^). 

(10) Ling-nan (^j| f|j), lit. " the South of the Mount 
(Ling,)" corresponded to the South part of the ancient Yang- 
chou (H| >$\). Its literary name is Yiieh-tung (Jg. ]^?). 
The two southern provinces, Kuangtung (JH j|f ^f) and 
Kuangsi (J§| |?§ ^|), were included in the province of Ling- 
nan in the time of the Emperor T'ai-Tsung. 

In our Introduction we have said that Kuan-nei (|JJ| |?}) 
must be the ** Kumdan " of the Nestorian Inscription, since 
that very name " Kuan-nei " is pronounced " Kandai " by the 
modern Japanese — a fact which leads us to conclude that the 
name Kumdan must have been a corruption of " Kandai." 

The expression " within the Gates " or " within the 
citadels " shows how well protected the chief Province 
(§& Pi) was * ^^ e S reat capital Ch'ang-an was situated 
inside the Citadels or Gates as well as surrounded by its 
own high walls. 

The title found in the Syriac part of the Inscription, 
" The chorepiscopos of Kumdan " or " the head of the Church 
of Kumdan and of Saragh," may mean the Metropolitan, whose 
see included the whole province wherein the capital Hsi-an-fu 

Dr. Legge has pointed out that the use of the expression 
M Ten Provinces " is a strong confirmation of the genuineness 
of the Nestorian Monument. 

(59) The period of Sheng-li (Ig ^|f).— This is one of 
many year-names of the Empress-Dowager Wu, and lasted 
only two years, viz. from 698 to 700 A.D. 


The Inscription thus passes from 683 A.D., in which Kao- 
Tsung died, to 699 A.D., i.e. about the middle of the Empress 
Wu's reign, which practically began in 683 A.D., when she 
usurped the throne by displacing the Crown Prince Chung- 
Tsung, the legitimate eldest son of Kao-Tsung and lawful 
heir to the Throne, and appointing his illegitimate son Jui- 
Tsung. This Jui-Tsung was under her thumb, so to speak, 
and she managed to keep the reins of government in her own 
hand through that Prince until she died in 705 A.D., when 
Chung-Tsung was restored to the throne. 

During the Empress Wu's reign she changed the name of 
the Dynasty from T'ang to Chou (^j). Hence there were 
two capitals in China at that time, as the Inscription 

The city of Lo appears as " the Eastern Capital of Chou," 
and Ch'ang-an as " the Western Hao," which was the name 
of the capital of King Wu, one of the greatest kings that 
ever ruled over the Chinese. The Dowager-Empress Wu 
claimed descent from the Great King Wu, and adopted all 
the old Chou names wherever possible. 

The period of Sheng-li corresponds to the fifteenth 
and sixteenth years of Ssu-sheng (jp ig) of the Emperor 
Chung-Tsung (t£ gS). 

(60) TJie end of Hsien-tien (^ ^).— This, the first year 
of the Emperor Hsuan-Tsung, was the last year of the 
Emperor Jui-Tsung who succeeded Chung-Tsung in 710 a.d. 
This came to pass as Chung-Tsung who had regained the 
throne from the Empress-Dowager Wu in A.D. 705 was 
murdered in 710 a.d. Chung-Tsung was succeeded by Jui- 
Tsung, who, however, abdicated in favour of his own son 
Hsuan-Tsung in 712 A.D. This accounts for that year having 
had two names, the name of " T'ai-chi " {% |g) as being the 
last of Jui-Tsung, and that of "Hsien-t'ien" (;$£ Ji) as being 
the first year of the Emperor Hsiian-Tsung. 

From 712 A.D. to the end of 755 A.D., China being under 


the glorious rule of Hsiian-Tsung, might be called "the 
Periclean Era of Chinese history." 

Hsiian-Tsung, one of the greatest emperors who ever 
sat on the throne of China, was the second greatest after the 
Emperor T'ai-Tsung during the three hundred years of the 
Pang Era. 

(61) Some inferior scholars \ etc. — Compare this with Lao- 
tzu's words in the forty-first chapter of " Tao-t£-ching " : 

" When a superior scholar hears of The Way he endeavours 
to practise it. 

" When an average scholar hears of the The Way he will 
sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it 

"When an inferior scholar hears of The Way he will 
greatly ridicule and deride it." 

Thus, during some thirty years, i.e. from 683 to 612 
A.D., the Luminous Religion was in the most difficult 
position, because the Buddhists were supreme in the reign of 
the Empress Wu, whilst the Taoists were very influential 
during the reigns of Chung-Tsung and Jui-Tsung, and also 
in the early part of Hsuan-Tsung's reign. 

How the Nestorians obtained their influence over the great 
Emperor Hsiian-Tsung is not far to seek. In the first place, 
it must have been due to the men of whom the Nestorian 
Papas Adam, Ching-ching (J£ ^), speaks in this Inscription. 

In the second place, through the foreign intercourse of 
the time the Nestorians represented the advanced popular 
party. Without the aid of the Syrian Christians or of the 
Mohammedans the Chinese could not easily procure " things 

(62) Lo-han, Bishop Chi-lieh, and noble men from " the 
Golden Region? — Priest Lo-han was identified with " Abraham 
the Metropolitan" (see Note 37) ; "Ab," the first syllable in 
his name, was evidently dropped as was customary in China 
and Japan. 

This view is strongly supported by the famous Jewish 


monument at K'ai-fSng-Fu, which was erected in 15 12 A.D., 
and has lately come into the possession of the Anglican mis- 
sion in China. Nearly the same Chinese characters " Lo-han " 
(M HI) are used in both Inscriptions for " Abraham." 

Bishop " Chi-lieh " was identified with " Gabriel " by Dr. 
Heller. But in this Nestorian Inscription " Yeh-li" (|j| %\\) 
and " Kuang-te " (jfjg $*k) both represent ■ Gabriel." 

We believe that the former is the Chinese phonetization 
of • Gabriel," whilst the later is the translation of the Hebrew 
word " Gabriel " which means " Hero of God." " Kuang-t$ " 
in Chinese means "Extensive Virtue," which is the most 
important attribute for a " Hero of God." 

"Yeh-li" (Hjl^lj) in Chinese is pronounced "Gyo-ri" 
in modern Japanese, which is much closer to the old Chinese 
pronunciation of the Pang Era than the present day Chinese 
is. This is a relic of the long intercourse of Japan with China 
in the Middle Ages. 

These facts compel us to conclude that the bishop's name 
Chi-lieh " must represent some Persian word whose first 
letter had the " K " sound, because " Chi-lieh " is pronounced 
" Kyu-retsu " in Japanese. We are inclined to identify this 
" Kyu-retsu " with * Cyriacus," that being nearest to the 
Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters. 

This Chi-lieh was the Bishop who accompanied the 
Persian Embassy to China as recorded in the annals of 
the epoch. Chinese history says that : 

" In the twentieth year of the K'ai-yuan period (ffi jfc) t 
in the ninth moon (October) (732 A.D.), the King of Persia sent 
the Chief P'an-na-mi (j&2H#?) accompanied by Bishop Chi-lieh 
to Hsi-an-fu, the capital, as the Persian Envoy. 

* The chief was decorated with the Imperial Order of 
' Kuo-i ' (^ ^§{), * Heroic-Brave/ whilst the Priest was 
presented with a purple-coloured vestment besides fifty 
pieces of silk." 

This chief, P'an-na-mi, must have been one of the 


noblemen from the " Golden Region " mentioned in the In- 
scription. Doubtless there were others of whom as yet we 
are ignorant. 

We do not know whether the Nestorians had recovered 
their influence before this Persian Mission arrived in 732 A.D., 
or whether it was in consequence of its arrival. But, as the 
Emperor Hsiian-Tsung ascended the throne in 713 A.D.,what 
the Inscription records must have occurred after 732 A.D. of 
the Emperor's reign. 

(63) The Emperor Hsiian-Tsung. — He was the third son 
of the Emperor Jui-Tsung. Although his eldest son, Ch'£ng- 
ch'i (j$£ :§§:), was proclaimed Heir Apparent in 710 A.D., he 
resigned the heritage in favour of his younger brother, 
P'ing-wang (^ 3E), ** " P rmcc °f Peace," who was later 
known as the Emperor Hslian-Tsung. 

This Prince Ch'eng-ch'i, the elder brother to the Emperor, 
was afterwards promoted to be King of Ning by his younger 
brother, the Emperor, in 718 A.D. — six years after his 

Three of the other four Imperial princes who were sent 
to the Nestorian Monastery (as recorded in the Inscription) 
were brothers, and the fourth was their cousin. 

That all five princes lived most harmoniously may be 
seen from the fact that they dwelt in a common residence — 
a place built by the Emperor for them — where the Emperor 
himself may often have listened to the Nestorian missionaries. 

The reign of Hsiian-Tsung, lasting over forty years, was 
the most glorious period in all Chinese history. Among others, 
the names of Madame Yang Kuei-fei (ffi JJ jg) and An 
Lu-shan(^ $j£ jlj), the Cleopatra and Mark Antony of China, 
if the Emperor himself had been its Caesar, are very familiar 
to us in Japan. In common parlance, the Emperor's attitude 
towards them much resembled that of the illustrious Khaliph 
Haroun Al-raschid toward Fetnah and Ganem, Love's Slave, 
as described in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. 


The Inscription conveys the idea that the Emperor 
Hsiian-Tsung and his brothers were so sympathetic and so 
liberal toward the Nestorians that they restored the influence 
of the Luminous Religion. Hence we conclude that they 
were friends of the Syrian Missionaries, although whether the 
Emperor himself was a Christian or not we cannot determine. 

A well-known anecdote says that one day Hsiian-Tsung 
lost his moustache whilst boiling a medicine for his brother. 
He said : "I am only too willing to lose my moustache if 
my brother gets better." 

This shows how different he was from the average 
Oriental monarchs of the time. He was humble and kind- 

(64) The early part of the period of T'ien-pao.— This began 
with the thirtieth year of the Emperor Hsiian-Tsung' s reign, 
the T'ien-pao period itself corresponding to 742-755 A -D- Kao 
Li-shih himself was made "Generalissimo of Cavalry" in 
748 A.D. So " the early part of the T'ien-pao " in our Inscrip- 
tion must mean at least 748 A.D., i.e. the seventh year of 

General Kao Li-shih was a eunuch, and had been 
employed in the palace since the time of the Empress 
Dowager Wu. His more than ordinary ability and strength 
proved of great service to Hsiian-Tsung in defending his 
Imperial person from the dagger of an assassin, who almost 
succeeded in assassinating him in the palace yard. But for 
this eunuch the Emperor would have fallen a victim to his 

enem y- , j * 11 

Hsiian-Tsung was very grateful to the eunuch, and finally 
promoted him to be - the Great General of the Cavalry," the 
Commander of the Imperial Guards. 

(65) The portraits of five Emperors.-The Emperor T'ai- 
Tsung had his own portrait painted on the monastery wall 
some time after 635 A.D. as mentioned in the Inscription. 
When Hsiian-Tsung ordered the "faithful portraits of the 


five Emperors " to be carried there some time after 748 A.D., 
the old portrait of the Emperor T'ai-Tsung was probably 
still visible. 

As there had been altogether six T'ang emperors, viz. (1) 
Kao-Tsu ; (2) T'ai-Tsung ; (3) Kao-Tsung ; (4) Chung-Tsung ; 
(5) Jui-Tsung ; and (6) Hsiian-Tsung himself, so most likely 
by " the five faithful portraits of the Emperors " were meant 
those of Hsiian-Tsung and his predecessors with the excep- 
tion of the great T'ai-Tsung himself, whose portrait was 
already there. Now that ^se. more portraits were added, the 
portraits of all the T'ang Emperors up to 755 A.D. were 
visible on the walls of the Nestorian Monastery at 

(66) We were in a position to hang on to the Imperial bow 
and sword in case the beard of the Dragon should be out of 
reach. — This is a most difficult portion of the Inscription, and 
the translators differ as may be seen from the following : 

(Abbd Hue) " Thus we were able to seize the bow, the 
sword, and the moustaches of the Dragon, although he was 
far off." 

(Wylie) " Although the Dragon's beard was then remote, 
their bows and swords were still within reach ; while the 
solar horns sent forth their rays, and celestial visages seemed 
close at hand." 

(Legge) "Although the Dragon's (i.e. Imperial) beard in 
them was too far off, yet the bow and sword could be touched 
with the hand ; when the Sun's horns (i.e, rays) shed on 
them their light, the celestial countenances seemed to be 
within about a cubit (from the spectator)." 

(Moule) "Though the Dragon's beard is far away the 
bow and sword may be touched ; the horn of the sun diffuses 
light ; the divine faces are not far distant." 

We think that the author, Ching-ching (King-tsing), Adam, 
alludes here to the old tradition so well known amongst 
Chinese and Japanese scholars, that " about B.C. 3700 there 


came down a Dragon with a long beard to the Yellow Emperor 
(SC *?&)• Mounting it, the Emperor ascended to Heaven. 
Seventy or more of his servants and court ladies accompanied 
him. Minor officials finding themselves unable to follow His 
Majesty to Heaven, they all clung to the beard of the Dragon. 
But alas ! the beard was pulled out by their weight. Upon 
this, the Emperor kindly let down his own bow (and sword). 
Clinging to the bow (and sword) all wept bitterly." 

This being the tradition handed down to us, the sentence 
in the Inscription must have been an allusion to the story. 
The Emperors, so august and so majestic, are beyond the 
reach Qf ordinary folk, yet ordinary folks may look up at the 
portraits of the Emperors on the monastery walls. As 
the minor officials of the olden time were permitted to hold 
the Imperial bow and sword, so the Nestorians are allowed 
to gaze upon the Imperial portraits. If " a cat may look at a 
king," then how much more so the Nestorians ! 

" The Sun's horn " is the usual expression for the stern 
and serious visage of the Imperial dignity, whilst the expres- 
sion "celestial face" means the gracious and kind-hearted 
countenance of the Emperor. All these expressions support 
our view as to the allusion to the above-quoted tradition 
which was first pointed out by Diaz in his edition of the 
Inscription, 1644, fol. 45. 

(67) In the third year of Vien-pao.— The Chinese ideograph 
for the " year " was first changed from " nien " (&f) to " tsai " 
(ffl in 744 A.D. by an Imperial Decree. Observing this, 
the author of our Inscription used "tsai" (ft) instead 

of " nien "(^). 

This is one of the many internal evidences in favour of 
the genuineness of the Nestorian Stone. The third year of 
Pien-pao corresponds to 744 A.D. 

(68) There was a priest by tlie name of Chi-ho in the 
Kingdom of Ta-ch'in.-The Chinese "Chi-ho" is pronounced 
«Gi-wa" in Japanese (which is simply the ancient T'ang 


pronunciation preserved to this day in the Island Empire), 
and may well be identified with " Giwargis," i.e. * George." 

This " priest Chi-ho " must have been " Bishop George M 
who came from Ta-ch'in with a reinforcement of monks, 
having been encouraged by the news of the Mission's great 
success brought back by the Persian chief and Bishop Chi-lieh 
(Cyriacus) in 732 A.D. 

(69) Priest P l n-lun. — This priest maybe identified with one 
of the three " Ephraims " who are named in the Inscription — 
one in the text, and two in the lists of priests inscribed in 
Syriac on the sides of the stone. 

The Chinese characters used here for " P l u-lun " differ from 
those used for it in the list of priests on the sides of the Monu- 
ment. In fact, each of the three " Ephraims " is designated 
by different Chinese characters. For the " P'u-lun " here the 
name in Syriac is not given, whilst the other two have the 
Syriac equivalent for the Chinese characters. 

(70) The Hsing-chHng Palace. — This Palace was erected in 
714 A.D., owing to the proposal of the King (later King of 
Ning) and four other Imperial Princes that they should have 
a residence near the Imperial Palace. So it was built in the 
Hsing-ch'ing Ward, on the left side of the city facing towards 
the Imperial Palace. This Hsing-ch'ing Palace was so near 
the Imperial Palace that the Emperor could go there direct 
through * The Luminous Wind Gate " of the Imperial Palace 
without being seen by the crowd. 

It is also written in the Chinese contemporary Annals : 
" The Emperor Hsiian-Tsung ploughs the field in person at 
the back of the Hsing-ch'ing Palace so that he may cultivate 
sympathy with the farmers." 

This Hsing-ch'ing Palace, the residence of the five Princes, 
was, therefore, a suitable place for the religious service 
mentioned in the Inscription. 

(71) Monastery 71 antes composed and written by the Emperor 
— It is a well-known fact that nearly every monastery in China 


and Japan has two names — one called " the Mountain title " 
and the other " the Monastery name." " So-and-so Shan " 
(>fpj k Uj), and « So-and-so Ssu " Monastery (fpj * r*f ) 
is the regular formula to designate a Buddhist temple. If 
our Nestorian Monastery enjoyed the great privilege of being 
a state Church, it must have had its " Shan name or 
Mountain name," beside its Ssu name or monastery name, 
which was " Ta-ch'in Ssu." Although we cannot ascertain 
the " Mountain name " borne by our Nestorian Monastery, 
yet these words in the Inscription prove that it was under 
Imperial patronage and so must probably have possessed 
such a name. 

(72) The Emperor Su-Tsung (756-762 a.d.)— He had 
been the Heir Apparent of Hsiian-Tsung for twenty years 
when the great rebellion of An Lu-shan (t£ jjjj^ [Jj) occurred. 
He died in the seventy -eighth year of his age. 

It was at a place called Ling-wu, which corresponds 
to Ling-chou in the prefecture of Ning-hsia in the province 
of Kan-su (-\jf J$ %) that he ascended the throne in 
consequence of the whole Court having been suddenly 
compelled to quit the Capital because of the invading army 
of An Lu-shan. His father, the Emperor Hsuan-Tsung, 
survived the disaster but one year and died at Ch'eng-tu 

($C tR) in 756 A.D. 

When the news that An Lu-shan had rebelled against the 
Emperor Hsuan-Tsung in 755 A.D. reached the King of the 
Uigurs ([Bj f|), he immediately sent his son, Yeh-hu (zfg fjj) 
(i.e. Jacob), at the head of four thousand picked men to defend 
the Imperial person from the arms of the rebels. 

Prince Kuang-p'ing, the Emperor's own son, was made 
Commander-in-Chief, and Kuo Tzu-i (f|J ^ {g), of whom we 
have already spoken, had the command over the men of the 
Uigur tribes as well as over some other foreign mercenaries 
from the Western Lands. 

The mere fact that some of the Nestorian monks were 


interpreters for the Chinese general who commanded the 
Uigur army is a sufficient proof that the " Luminous Religion " 
had already spread amongst the Uigurs. 

Sir Aurel Stein, in " Ruins of Desert Cathay" (pub. 191 2), 
describes his discovery of manuscripts in the Caves of the 
Thousand Buddhas at Tun-huang (^j[ jj|||) on the western- 
most frontier of China proper, which were in a Uigur 
script derived from Syriac. This Uigur script, he says, 
was " widely used among the Turkish population of Central 
Asia, before the spread of Mohammedanism, for the Turki 

(73) The Emperor Tai-Tsung. — He was a great friend and 
patron of the famous Indian monk Amogha-vajra, as were 
his father, Su-Tsung, and grandfather, Hsiian-Tsung. His 
reign corresponds to 763-779 a.d. Amogha-vajra died in 
772 A.D. (see p. 136, supra). Our Ching-ching (J£ ^f), the 
author of the Nestorian Inscription, must also have been a 
friend of this Emperor as well as of his successor Te'-Tsung. 
It is safe therefore to infer that he was intimate with Amogha- 

(74) The Birthday festival.— Hue, Wylie, Havret and 
others take this festival to be the birthday of the Messiah, 
but Dr. Legge rightly insisted that in this case the birthday 
of the Emperor was meant. 

Compare the following different translations : 

(Hue) " Every year, at the hour of the Nativity, he burnt 
celestial perfumes in remembrance of the divine benefit ; 
he prepared imperial feasts to honour the Luminous 

(Wylie) "Always, on the Incarnation-day, he bestowed 
celestial incense and ordered the performance of a service of 
merit ; he distributed of the Imperial viands, in order to shed 
a glory on the Illustrious Congregation." 

(Moule) " Every (year) on the day of the Nativity he 
presented divine incense to proclaim the perfected work ; 


and offered a royal feast to do honour to the Christian 

(Legge) " Always when the day of his birth recurred, he 
contributed celestial incense wherewith to announce the 
meritorious deeds accomplished by him, and sent provisions 
from his own table to brighten our Illustrious Assembly." 

In Nien Ch'ang's "Biographical History of Buddhism" 

($t> M M ft M WO ( xiv - P- l8 ) lt is recorded that Tai- 
Tsung also had a service performed for him by a large com- 
pany of Buddhist priests on his own birthday. 

It is the more curious because the same phraseology in our 
text is found there too. (Cf. Legge, op. cit. % p. 19.) But the 
explanation is that the Emperor was equally kind and sympa- 
thetic to Mohammedans, Manicheans and Buddhists as well as 
to our Nestorians. He allowed himself to write " the sign- 
board " for a mosque, whilst it was he who gave Amogha-vajra 
the posthumous honour of " Prime Minister of the Empire," 
the highest honour that any one could receive in China. 

Moreover, the observation of the Imperial birthday was 
instituted as a national holiday in 729 A.D. Known at first as 
" Ch'ien-ch'iu chieh" ff> $r; |p), "The Thousand-Autumn- 
Festival," it was afterwards changed to " T'ien-ch'ang-chieh " 
(5^ Jtfp)' " The Heaven-Endures-Festival." The latter 
name was, no doubt, borrowed from " Tao-t$-ching," " The 
Book of Morals," by Lao-tzu : " As long as Heaven endures 
and the Earth lasts"— T'ien ch'ang Ti chiu (% J| jfe #J. 

This festival was first introduced into Japan in 775 A.D. 
as " T'ien-ch'ang-chieh " (Ten-cho-setsu) (5£ JE lp)» " The 
Heaven-Endure-Festival " or " The Emperor-live-long-feast," 
whilst the Empress' birthday is now known as " Ti-chiu- 
chieh" (Chi-ku-setsu), "The Earth-Lasting-feast " which 
may be translated "The Mother-of-the-Nation-live-long- 


But natural as it is to celebrate the Imperial birthday by 
a national holiday, its origin in China may have been due to 


the Ncstorians keeping " the Birthday Festival of Messiah " ; 
and we have reasons for thinking that even the Japanese 
national holiday of Ten-cho-setsu (^ J^ 'jjjj) is indirectly 
traceable to a Christian source. (See p. 144, supra) 

It was only sixty-seven years after "the Birthday 
Festival" had been instituted in 729 A.D. that Chinese 
Confucianists were allowed to partake in the Festival Service 
conducted in the Palace. We read in the authentic History 
of China (Jf ffi j§ £ ; Jf £) : "The 12th year of the 
ChSng-yiian (j|[ %) period, on the 30th of the 5th moon 
(796 A.D.), according to the long-established custom, the 
Buddhists and Taoists were invited to hold a religious 
service at the Ling-te Palace. This year, Confucianists were 
admitted to join the party for the first time." 

This shows that the Birthday Festival was not started by 
the Confucianists of the eighth century. We feel sure that 
it must have had its origin in the Assyrian Church in China 
which offered daily prayers for "the living as well as for 
the dead." 

(75) Our present Emperor.— This is, of course, the 
Emperor Te-Tsung who ascended the throne in 780 A.D., 
just one year before the erection of the Monument. Accord- 
ing to Chinese etiquette it was not correct to call the 
Emperor by his personal name in his lifetime, so the author 
of the Inscription denotes the Emperor by the year- name 
M Chien-chung," and calls him " the Chien-chung Emperor," 
which year-name was chosen by the Emperor himself when 
he succeeded to the throne. Only after his death can an 
Emperor be called by his posthumous name which was, in 
this Emperor's case, Te-Tsung, i.e. "the Virtuous Emperor." 
To every Emperor his posthumous name is given by his 
successor according to his merits and virtues. 

(76) The eight objects of Government, ^.—According to 
Chinese Books on Government, the eight objects of Govern- 
ment are as follows : 


(1) Food-supply administration. The people's food pre- 
cedes all else in politics. 

(2) Wealth administration. This is to encourage the 
accumulation of wealth by thrift and avoidance of waste. 

(3) Sacrifice and Festival administration. This is to 
show our gratitude to our Ancestors and thereby to 
strengthen the Unity of the Nation. 

(4) Habitation administration. This is to look after the 
people's well-being in their homes. 

(5) Educational administration. This is to look after the 
morals of the people. 

(6) Penal administration. This is judicial administra- 
tion. No civil laws in the modern sense were as yet 

(7) Foreign intercourse administration. How to treat the 
people of far and near was one of the most difficult problems 
of the Chinese government in all ages. 

(8) Army administration. No navy had yet come within 
the horizon of a continental empire like China. 

These " Eight objects " form the third division of what 
were called "The Nine Divisions of the Grand scheme of 
Imperial Government," which may be roughly explained as 
follows : 

(1) To look after the five elements of the Empire : 

1. Water. 4- Gold - 

2. Fire. 5- Earth. 

3. Wood. 

(2) To keep the five things of the nation correct : 

1. Appearance. 4- Hearing. 

2. Speech. 5- Thought. 

3. Sight. 

(3) To carry out the Eight Objects of Administration : 

1. Food supply administration. 

2. Wealth administration. 

3. Sacrifice and Festival administration- 


4. Habitation administration. 

5. Educational administration. 

6. Penal law administration. 

7. Foreign intercourse administration. 

8. Army administration. 

(4) To observe the five points concerning Time-record : 

1. Year. 3. Day. 5. Calendar. 

2. Month. 4. Stars. 

(5) The Greatest Extreme, i.e. Establishing the Authority 
based on the Unsurpassed Way of Justice and Mercy. 

(6) To cultivate the Three Virtues of the people : 

1. Honesty. 2. Industry. 3. Long-suffering. 

(7) To encourage Divination ; that is, to enquire the Will 
of Heaven in all things in a humble spirit 

(8) To read Signs : to watch rain and winds. 

(9) To enjoy the Five Blessings, viz. : 

1. To have a long life. 

2. To possess great wealth. 

3. To enjoy peace and tranquillity. 

4. To be virtuous. 

5. To die a natural death in a good old age. 

(yj) Our great Donor was the priest I-ssu", etc. — The 
Chinese characters for the " Ta-shih-chu," the great donor 
tfc $L .£)» are well-known characters among Buddhists. 
They stand for the Sanskrit " Danapati," which means either 
" to give " or " one who gives." 

That Priest I-ssu ($* $Jf) was a Nestorian priest, whose 
Syriac name was perhaps "Isaac," is quite clear from the 
context as well as from other sources. He was a man of 
great power and influence in Civil as well as Military affairs. 
He possessed all the decorations and honours recorded here 
on the Nestorian Stone, but this is not unprecedented in 
Chinese history, especially during the T'ang Era. 

The celebrated Japanese Abe-no-nakamaro (700-770 A.D.) 
held a very high official position in the Chinese Court, whilst, 


as the Inscription given at the end of this book shows, a 
Persian Prince was made General of the Chinese Army. 
Even amongst the monastic orders we have seen many 
instances of priests serving as soldiers or secular officials. 

Priest Fa-chien (gj fg) of the Hsi-ming Monastery 
(® (#J n?f), Ch'ang-an, was the chief staff-officer of the 
rebel army at the siege of Feng-t'ien (^ J%), Hsi-an, in 
783 A.D. It was this Fa-chien who introduced into China 
the use of " Turris Ambulatoria," " Testudo Arictaria," and 
* Testudo," and some other Roman military weapons a little 
before 783 A.D. 

Again, the famous Priest Huai-i (|J| ?§f§) was an Imperial 
favourite and a great Military Commander under the Emperor 
Jui-Tsung. There were many warrior priests as well as 
.civil officials amongst the Buddhist clergy both in China and 
Japan. The Priest I-ssu was no exception to the general 
tendency of the age. 

Foreigners, especially those from Central Asia or Turke- 
stan, were best fitted for such commands, because the Imperial 
army of China was then composed of mercenaries from the 
Uigur and other tribes. It was an army of all races and 
tongues with different creeds. So the most important thing 
for the General was to understand the various languages 
employed in it. Even the Commander-in-Chief, General 
KuoTzu-i(J5 -^ 'JH), to whom our priest Isaac was attached 
by the Emperor's special wish, was a man of foreign extrac- 
tion and a great master of foreign tongues. 

(7S) Chin-tzii~kuang-lti-ta-fu.—L\terd\\y % " Minister of the 
Court of Imperial Entertainments, decorated with gold and 
purple." This was a title borne by civilian officials belonging 
to the upper grade of the third class in the hierarchy of Court 
distinctions. There were 9 classes and 30 grades in all. 
(79) The city of the Royal residence.— -There were at least 
two places known by the name of "the Royal City" 
(3E $* £&)• The first was the royal residence of Ma S adha ' 


a kingdom in central India. Rajagriha, " Royal City," was 
the first metropolis of Buddhism. 

Of the second, we read in the famous " Buddhist Records 
of the Western World," by Hsuan-tsang, the Chinese 
Pilgrim, in 629 A.D. He usually calls it " Little Rajagriha " 
(i.e. Royal City). This little Rajagriha is no less a place than 
the city of Balkh in Bactria, which is some 20 li in circum- 
ference. We think that "the Royal City" mentioned on 
the stone is this " Little Rajagriha/' because in the Syriac 
part of the Inscription we find that many of the Nestorian 
priests came from Balkh. 

It is not very difficult to imagine why the adjective 
"little" was dropped. Its omission before "Royal City" in 
this case was something like adding the adjective " great " 
before the name of the country, like " the Great Tang " at 
the close of the Inscription. 

It would have been a sacrifice on the author's-part to 
omit the important adjective "great" before the "great 
Donor," or "great Tang," or "great Yesumband." But in 
the case of "Rajagriha," the author attained his purpose of 
glorifying the city by simply dropping the prefix "little." 
He could not call Balkh the " great Rajagriha," because the 
title belonged to the Royal City in Magadha. 

In the year 802 A.D. a merchant named Isaac, the Jew, 
took an elephant, the sacred beast of Buddhism, across the 
Alps to Charlemagne as a gift from the Khaliph of Baghdad 
Haroun Al-Raschid (786-809 A.D.). The Nestorian Patriarch, 
Timothy I., was a great friend of the latter. 

The context : " From far, from the City of the Royal 
Palace, he happened to come to the Middle Kingdom," shows 
us that the Nestorian priest Isaac came to China by land. 
He must have been a good and capable man. Above all he 
must have been a great master of languages. Who knows 
whether this Isaac was not the same Isaac as he who took 
the elephant to Charlemagne at the Court of Aix-la-Chapelle ? 


(80) The Three Dynasties. — Hsia ( J£) 2205 B-C, Shang 
1766 B.C., and Chou (^jjj) 1122 B.C., are called "the 

Three Dynasties." The civilization and refinement of the 
T'ang rivals those of "the Three Dynasties." That is to 
say, when this Priest Isaac arrived, China was so advanced 
and enlightened that she was not unworthy to welcome such 
a saintly man together with his companions. 

(81) First performing certain faithful service to " the Red 
Court"— The " Red Court " or "Vermilion Court " may mean 
the Imperial Palace of T'ang. Dr. Wells Williams was 
entirely correct in saying that "the Red Court" means the 
Imperial Palace, especially the private or interior apart- 

It was in 724 A.D., that vermilion painting and red- 
coloured tiles, then so fashionable in China, were introduced 
at Nara, the capital of Japan. And in 768 A.D., the Kasuga 
Shrine at Nara was first painted in the vermilion colour, 
which we still see there, and the camphor-wood torii or gate 
at the Itsukushima Shrine which Kobo-daishi on his return 
from Ch'ang-an changed into its present Ryobu-Shinto form 
is also a brilliant vermilion. 

(82) Finally, he inscribed his name in the Imperial book, etc. 
—This means that I-ssu {i.e. Isaac) became a loyal servant to 
His Imperial Majesty and paid him court. 

To-day the visitors to the Court, if they hold official rank, 
inscribe their names in a book, which is presented to His 
Imperial Majesty afterwards for his inspection. 

(83) Kuo Tzu-i, a Secretary of State, and Viceroy of Fen- 
yang province.— Kg died in 782 A.D., a year after the erection 
of our Monument. He was one of the ablest' Commanders 
of the T'ang Era, and held the highest posts during 
the reigns of Hsuan-Tsung, Su-Tsung, Tai-Tsung, and Te- 


He was given the command over the Northern region by 
Hsiian-Tsung in 75°* A.D. He was again appointed to the 


same post in 762 AD. after having been displaced by the 
famous Li Kuang-pi (^ ^ JjJJ) in 760 A.D. 

General Kuo Tzii-i was very popular amongst the Uigur 
tribes. A story is told of how the Uigur soldiers when on 
the verge of revolt were pacified by him when they saw him 
appearing on horseback. They all smiled, and laying down 
their arms at his feet became the most loyal servants of the 
T'ang government. 

But if the Priest Isaac accompanied General Kuo Tzii-i to 
the North (as the Nestorian Inscription says), he could not 
have done so as Vice-commander of the Army in 756 A.D., 
because Ko Shu-han (^ %f |^), another famous foreigner, 
was then Vice-commander and was taken prisoner after the 
disastrous battle. 

The title of Vice-commander given to our Priest Isaac in 
the Inscription must therefore be ex post facto. We are 
Inclined to think that he succeeded the unfortunate Ko Shu- 
han, and if so, he would have accompanied, as the Inscription 
says, General Kuo Tzii-i in his second expedition to the North 
in 762 A.D. 

Isaac, like his predecessor Ko Shu-han, must above all have 
b-en a great master of the Uigur language, for he had several 
thousand Uigur mercenaries under him. 

(84) P l o4i (Jgj *g).— The Chinese P'o-li is the English 
" Crystal," and is used here for the Sanskrit " Sphatika," which 
is explained by " white pearl * or " water crystal." This and 
other objects mentioned in the Text were all objets de vertu. 

(85) Four monasteries. — The translators differ in their 
rendering of this phrase : 

(Hue) "Every year he assembled the religious and 
faithful from the four temples." 

(Wylie) " Every year he assembled those in the sacred 
office from four Churches." 

(Legge) " Every year he assembled the priests of all the 


(Moule) " Every year he gathered the priests and novices 
of all the monasteries." 

Dr. Legge suggests in a footnote that this might be 
translated " the monasteries of the four quarters " instead of 
M all the monasteries " given by himself. But we are rather 
inclined to think that this expression means "the four 
monasteries " that existed in Ch'ang-an at that time. Only 
the names of three Nestorian Churches out of "the four 
Churches " are known to us, one in the I-ning Ward which 
was built in 638 A.D. by the Emperor T'ai-Tsung's orders ; 
another, in the Li-ch'tian Ward, built in 6yj A.D. by the three 
brothers Firus (J|L £§> Jjf) who were fugitive Princes from 
Persia and received shelter in China ; and another in the 
Pu-ch&ng Ward, which was built about 708 A.D. 

Thus far, we have failed to find the fourth, but it must 
have been somewhere on the left-hand side of the city facing 
the Imperial Court, because the first two were on the right- 
hand side, whilst the third was on the left of the Capital. 

(86) Ta-so (Dasa).— M. Pauthier thinks that this word is 
the Chinese corruption of " Dasarhas," a Sanskrit term which 
denotes " Buddha " or " Buddhist." Dr. G. Schlegel tried to 
identify it with the Persian " Tarsa " which means " fearer of 
God," and might have been used to denote " Christian." 

We believe the word to be Sanskrit. "Ta-so" is the 
Sanskrit "Dasa," which means "Servant." For instance, 
Shomu Tenno, one of the Emperors of Japan, was an earnest 
Buddhist and humble enough to call himself " Sam-po-no-do " 
("ZT 5te OT ), " Triratna-Dasa," which means " the Servant of 
the Three Precious Ones "-—lit. " the preciousness of Buddha, 
the Law, and the Priesthood." 

Again, the Sanskrit name " Chandra-dasa " means "the 
Servant of the Moon," whilst "Arya-dasa," which literally 
means "holy servant," is the name of a famous representa- 
tive of the Mahasamghikha School. 

Compare the following different translations : 


(Hue) " It has not been heard that there existed anything 
finer among the Ta-so, of pure duty, the religious men of the 
Luminous Doctrine, clothed in their white robes." 

(Wylie) Even among the most pure and self-denying of 
the Buddhists, such excellence was never heard of; the 
white-clad members of the Illustrious Congregation, now 
considering these men, have desired to engrave a broad 
Tablet," etc. 

(Legge) " Among the purest and most self-denying 
Buddhists, such excellence was never heard of; but now the 
white-stoled members of the Illustrious Religion see it in 
this man." 

(Moule) "Ta-so of pure integrity had not so fair a 
reputation ; the white-robed Christian doctor is now seen to 
be the perfect man." 

We think Dr. Legge's rendering is the best with the 
exception of "Ta-sa," and the meaning of "White-robed," 
for " Ta-sa " means " the Servant of the Lord, whilst " White- 
robed " means (according to the best Chinese authority) " the 
laity" or "a layman." There is no need to suppose that 
" White-robed " means " wearing a surplice." 

(87) Our Land of Tang. — The Chinese character " yen " 
("||f) means " here " or " hereby," as in classical Chinese is 
often the case. It does not mean " I say." Compare the 
following different translations : 

(Hue) "The Luminous religion entered the Empire under 
the dynasty of Tang." 

(Wylie) " When the pure, bright Illustrious Religion, 
Was introduced to our T'ang dynasty," etc. 

(Legge) " Our brightest Truth then came to Pang." 

(Moule) "The Christian religion shining bright came, I 
say, to our house of T'ang." 

(88) Ning-shu. — This name literally means " Peace-mercy," 
and is really the Chinese name for Hanan-ishu, the Patriarch 
who succeeded the Patriarch Jacob, and was consecrated 


Catholicos of the Assyrian Church at Baghdad in 774 a.d. 
(see pp. 35 and 36). 

What Dr. William Wright wrote about Timothy in his 
excellent work, "A Short History of Syriac Literature," 
throws a side-light which explains why in the early part of 
781 A.D. the Nestorians in China had "Hanan-ishu" as the 
reigning Patriarch of the Assyrian Church in this Inscription. 
He says (pp. 191-192) : 

" Timothy I. was a native of Hazza in Hedhai-yabh and 
had been a pupil of Abraham bar Dashandadh at the school 
of Bashush in Sphsaph. He became bishop of Beth Baghesh, 
and stood well with the Muhammadan Governor of Mosul, 
Abu Musa ibu Musab, and his Christian secretary Abu Nuh 

On the death of Hanan-ishu II., in 779 A.D., several 
persons presented themselves as candidates for the dignity of 
Catholicos. Timothy got rid of Isho-yabh, abbot of Beth 
Abhe, by pointing out to him that he was an old man, unfit 
to withstand his younger rivals, and by promising, if he himself 
were successful, to make him metropolitan of Hedhaiyabh, 
which he afterwards did. 

" Meantime Thomas of Kashar and other bishops held a 
Synod at the Convent of Mar Pethion in Bagdad, and elected 
the monk George, who had the support of Isa, the Court 
physician ; but his formidable opponent died suddenly. 

" Having by a mean trick attained the support of the 
Archdeacon Beroe and the heads of the various colleges, 
Timothy managed at last to get himself appointed Catholicos, 
about eight months after the death of his predecessor. 

" He still, however, encountered strong opposition, Ephraim, 
metropolitan of Gunde-Shabhor ; Solomon, bishop of Al- 
Hadithah ; Joseph, metropolitan of Maru or Merv ; Sergius, 
bishop of Maallethaya, and others held a Synod at the Convent 
of Beth Hale, in which they made Rustam, bishop of Henaitha, ^ 
metropolitan of Hedhaiyabh in place of Isho-yabha, and 


excommunicated Timothy, who retorted with the same 
weapon and deposed Joseph of Merv. 

" Joseph brought the matter before Caliph al-Mahadi, but, 
failing to gain any redress, in an evil hour for himself became 
a Muhammadan. Once more Ephraim summoned his 
bishops to Bagdad and excommunicated Timothy for the 
second time, with no other result than counter-excommuni- 
cation and some disgraceful rioting, which led to the interference 
of Isa and the restoration of peace. 

** Timothy was duly installed in May, 780 A.D. He made 
the Bishop of Persia subject to the See of Seleucia, and 
appointed over them one Simeon as Metropolitan with orders 
to enforce a stricter Rule than heretofore. 

" In his days Christianity spread among the Turks, and 
the Khakan himself is said to have become a convert. 
Timothy's disgraceful response to the Caliph al-Rashid in 
the matter of the divorce of Zubaidah may be seen in B.O. III., 
p. 161. He is said to have died in 204 A.H. (819-820 A.D.) 
or 205 A.H. (820-821 A.D.); but if he was Catholicos for 
forty-three years, his death cannot have taken place till 823 

But, in "The Book of Governors'* (Vol. I., p. in), 
Dr. Budge says: "Here (at Nineveh) Isho-yabh lived until 
he became an old man, and he performed the episcopal office 
with such success that on the death of Henan-Isho II., who 
sat from 774-780, the Bishops and Metropolitans made all 
arrangement to elect him to the Patriarchate." 

Again (Vol. II., p. 379) : " Hanan-Ishu II., who succeeded 
Mar Jacob as Nestorian Patriarch, A.Gr. 1085, A.D. 774, A.H. 
1 57 ; he died A.D. 780." 

If Hanan-Ishu died in 780 a.d. (as said by Dr. Budge), 
the installation of Timothy must have been in May, 781 A.D., 
instead of May, 780 A.D., because, as Dr. Wright says, there 
was a lapse of eight months between the death of Hanan-Ishu 
and the installation of Timothy. 


Both Dr. Wright and Dr. Budge refer to the same 
authority, Assemanni, " Bibliotheca Orientalis." But Oriental 
writers being sparing in their use of dates, the two English 
writers differ in their conclusions. 

The date given in our Monument in China supports 
Dr. Budge ; and Sir Aurel Stein has pointed out the exceeding 
accuracy of all Chinese historical dates. The death of 
Hanan-Ishu probably occurred in October, 780 A.D., but the 
distance and disorder combined were enough to prevent the 
news from reaching China. 

(89) Tlie great Yao-sin-win day, — We think that Mr. 
Wylie's identification of this with the Persian " Yaksamba," 
i.e. "the first day of the week" is correct, although Dr. Heller 
suggests that the word may be " Ho-samba," which is the 
Syriac for " the first day." He says that the day was the 
Sunday before one of the annual feasts and so might have 
been called "great." But as "Yao- sen-wen " is also found 
in a Buddhist book on Astronomy (fg flf |&) which came 
to China about the same time by way of Persia, we are 
satisfied with Mr. Wylie's identification. The 4th of February, 
781 a.d. was the Sunday no doubt. 

(90) Written by L'u Hsiu-yen, Assistant-secretary of State 
and Superintendent of the Civil Engineering Bureau ofTai-chou. 
—None of the writers, whether native or foreign, on the 
Nestorian Inscription have thus far succeeded in tracing the 
identity of this Chinaman* Lu Hsiu-yen. 

Great Chinese scholars like Mr. Wylie, Dr. Legge, M. 
Pauthier, and others have all failed to discover who and what 
was this somewhat mysterious calligrapher— a calligrapher of 
the first class during the Pang Era, and yet unknown to the 
Chinese scholars who wrote books on "Metals and Stones." 

The Chinese critics of the Inscription, like Yang 
Hsiang-fu (ti ft * or $ $ &) who wrote a book 
called "A Critical Study of the Nestorian Inscription 

( J: Ifc # 3t £fi * 5fc IE)' and Mr - ch ' ien ( ® * *f' 


who wrote a book called " Some Considerations on the 
Nestorian Inscription " (jg; ^r ^), have all left the problem 
of Lii Hsiu-yen unsolved. 

Even in that most thorough-going and painstaking work 
of Pere Henri Havret, SJ. — " La Stele chr^tienne de Si-ngan- 
fou " (pub. at Shanghai, 1897) — only one or two references 
are made to Lii Hsiu-yen, the Chinaman, and that very 
indirectly, so that this important question — a question which 
involves the greatest consequences — is left as dark as ever. 

After devoting over ten pages (pp. 198-219) of the second 
volume of his work to the discussion of the different styles 
of handwriting, Pere Havret only succeeded in showing 
European scholars how well the writing on the Nestorian 
Stone could be compared with that of the famous calligraphers 
of the T'ang Era, between 632 a.d. and 841 A.D., but he 
said nothing about Lii Hsiu-yen himself, except to charge 
him (most unjustly, as we think) with having omitted one 
character after "the twenty-four sages" in the Inscription. 

Pere Havret says : " C'eteit sans doute 2j| J^ ou quelque 
chose d'analogue, que le pr£tre jg£ jp avait 6crit ; Liu-sieou- 
yen a omis le second caractere, et si Ton s'en apercut avant de 
confier la pierre au sculpteur en lettres, on n'osa lui faire 
recommencer son travail " (p. 214). We have already said 
in our Note 18 that the Chinese writer did not omit the 
character unconsciously. 

We cannot but feel that our identification of this Lii Hsiu- 
yen (Q ^ j^) with the famous Lii Yen, a poet and 
calligrapher as well as the originator of the Chin -tan Chiao 
(The Religion of the Pills of Immortality) is correct, accord- 
ing to reasons given in the Introduction (pp. 49-54, supra). 

This Lii Hsiu-yen was not a military man. His official 
duties were wholly civilian, but strange to say almost all 
translators treat him as if he had been a military man. 
Compare the following translations : 

(Hue) " Liu-siou-yen, councillor of the Palace, and 


previously member of the Council of War, himself traced 
these characters." 

(Wylie) "Written by Lew Sew-yen, Secretary to the 
Council, formerly Military superintendent for Tae-chow." 

(Legge) " Written out by Lii Hsiu-yen, Secretary of State, 
formerly discharging the duties of military superintendent 
in T'ai-chau." 

(Moule) " The Secretary of the Imperial Council who 
formerly occupied the post of Military Superintendent at 

The Chinese title ($j HI Jf R glf £f) is not an official 
one. It denotes a Court Rank corresponding to the Lower 
Sixth Rank of the T'ang, whilst " T'ai-chou Ssu-shih-ts ( an- 

chiin " (^ ^H WJ i ^ St) is not a militarv office at a11 
(see Introduction, p. 57). 

Strange to say, this ^ ^ |JJ flff £f is misunderstood in 
all the works on the Inscription I have come across. The foreign 
translators, of course, must have had the very best Chinese 
scholars to consult with, but somehow they all made, to our 
great regret, this serious mistake. J|| £| ft ^ fif is one 
title whilst 1$ ^||R w another, gfjf ff is a part of the title. 

It does not belong to £ ^H U ± # ^ at alL The best 
book to be referred to is ^ |l* y^ iBt. 

If our identification of this Lii Hsiu-yen with the famous 
Lii Yen is correct, then we can easily explain why the 
style of t>e Nestorian Inscription resembles those of the 
schools of Ch'u Sui-liang (f§ ^ &) and Ou-yang Hsiin 

(UK R& fQ)» and why his official » if not socia1, P osition was 
not so high as 1 that of the two above-mentioned men, whilst 
his calligraphical excellence and merit, judged by modern 
standards, can rank as high as that of any of the eighth- 
century calligraphers. The writer Lii Hsiu-yen was only 
twenty-five years old when he wrote the Inscription for 
Ching-ching (jj£ ^), Adam, who composed the Nestorian 
Inscription. R 


(91) Kumdan and Saragh. — The identification of these 
two names is another very difficult problem in the study of 
the Nestorian Stone. No one as yet has succeeded in the 
identification of " Saragh," whilst many have failed to 
explain why the Western Asiatics of the Middle Ages called 
the Chinese Capital — or, more correctly speaking, the part 
of China where the Capital is situated — Kumdan. 

Sir Henry Yule says : " Khumdan was the name given 
by the Turkish and Western Asiatic nations to the city of 
Ch'angan, now represented by Singanfu in Shensi, which was 
the capital of several Chinese dynasties between the twelfth 
century B.C. and the ninth century A.D. The name Khumdan 
appears in the Syriac part of the Singanfu Inscription 
repeatedly ; in the Arab Relations of the ninth century 
published by Renaudot and by Reinaud ; in Masudi ; in 
Edrisi (as the name of the great river of China); and in 
Abulfeda. Pauthier takes Khumdan for a Western trans- 
cription of Ch'angan, whilst Neumann regards it as a corrup- 
tion of Kong-tien, Court or Palace. Both of these explana- 
tions seem unsatisfactory " (" Cathay and the Way Thither," 

Vol I., p. 51). 

We think " Kumdan " is the old pronunciation of Kuan- 
nei (H|] p*j). We have in Japanese " Kan-dai " for the same 
Chinese characters and with the same meaning. The 
Japanese received the sound " dai " (pj) for the modern 
Chinese "nei" (pj) from the Chinese of the T'ang period 
twelve hundred years ago. So we may fairly say that our 
11 Kan-dai " is the nearest approach to the old Chinese pro- 
nunciation of the modern " Kuan-nei " (see p. 222, supra). 

"Kan" or "Kuan" (g|j) means "citadel" or "gate," 
whilst "dai" or "nei" (|^j) means "inside" or "within." 
Hence " Kumdan " or " Kan-dai " literally means " Inside the 
Citadels." The Imperial province in which the Capital was 
located, and well protected by many citadels was called " Kan- 
dai " or " Chi-nei" (^| p^J) in China as well as in Japan. 


Whether our explanation of the word " Kumdan " would 
have satisfied Sir Henry Yule and others we know not, but 
the old sound of the Chinese characters as preserved in 
Japanese compels us to say that the word " Khumdan " or 
" Kumdan " must be a corruption of the " Kan-dai " or 
* Kuan-nei "—within the " citadels " or " inside of the forts " 
of the Central Province. 

So much for the identification of " Kumdan," now for the 
identification of " Saragh." 

Sir Henry Yule says: "Saragh, it may be added, is 
referred by Pauthier to the Saragh of Ptolemy, a city placed 
by the geographer among the Sinae, and, according to his 
theory, of course, far to the south of the real position of 
Lo-yang. But we have seen reason to believe that Ptolemy's 
view of the Sinae and Seres is that of a person using his 
right and left eye separately. Binocular vision reduces the 
two objects to one, and corrects their displacements." 

Again, referring to the word u Seric," Sir Henry says, " I 
do not know what town the author can allude to, but see the 
Siurhia of Moses the Armenian, and the Saragh of the 
Singan-fu Inscription." 

We wish that it were possible to identify " Saragh " with 
the well-known city of Lo-yang, in the Province of Honan, 
but all the evidences are against it. 

Lo-yang was originally called Chou-nan (^ ^)),but ever 
since the time of the Han (206 B.C.) it has kept its name of 

Again, Lo-yang was never known as a decidedly Nestorian 
city either in the Chinese books or in the Nestorian Inscrip- 
tion itself. It is not mentioned in the map attached to Sir 
Henry Yule's book, " Cathay and the Way Thither," which 
shows the Metropolitan Sees of the Nestorian Church and 
some of the Latin missionary bishoprics of the fourteenth 
century A.D. 

We are inclined to identify " Saragh " with Sarakhs in 


the Persian province of Khorassan, for "Shahrakhs," 
" Cherakhs," and " Serakhs," mean the same thing. We are 
told that the name " Shahrakhs * is derived from the two 
words " Shah " and " rauch " meaning the " King of the Day," 
whilst "Khorassan," the name of the Province where 
Shahrakhs was the most important city in the ancient time, 
means "The Region of the Sun." It was the most suitable 
name for the headquarters of " the Luminous Religion." 

The origin of the name Khorassan is prettily suggested 
by Moore, at the commencement of his poem of Lalla 

" In the delightful province of the Sun, 
The first of Persian lands he shines upon." 

This Persian Sharakhs was known to the Chinese for 
many centuries, and was familiar to them ever since their 
intercourse with Persians in the early centuries of the 
Christian era. " Sa-la-ha-hsi " (Jffc j$|J U^ $?) and • Hsi- 
la-ssu" (^ : jji|] ££-) are two different ways of transliteration 
the Chinese have for Shahrakhs. 

According to certain authorities, it is now nothing but a 
settlement and fort in the Russian Transcaspian Territory, 
ninety miles* south-west of Merv, on the right bank of the 
river Tejen (Heri-Rud), which here, before losing itself in 
the sand of the desert, forms the boundary between the 
Russian dominions and the Persian province of Khorassan. 
At present (according to the 1910 Report by the British 
Authorities) it contains about 2000 people. On the opposite 
side of the river — nine miles away east-south-east — is the 
old Persian town of Sarakhs, now in ruins. 

This old ruined town, we think, must have been the 
" Saragh " of the Nestorian Inscription. 

How Khorassan with its great Nestorian city of Shahrakhs 
was related to China in former days can be seen from Sir 
Henry Yule's description in " Cathay and the Way Thither " 


(Vol. I., p. SS) of the intercourse between China and Persia. 
He says : 

"In the days of Yang-ti of the Sui Dynasty (605-^617) 
China had begun to regain that influence over the states of 
Central Asia which it had enjoyed in the great days of the 
Han, preceding and following the Christian Era, and under 
Tai-Tsung of the T'ang (627-650 a.d.) that influence was 
fully re-established and the frontiers of the Empire were 
again carried to the Bolor and even beyond it to the borders 
of Persia. In these remote provinces the actual administra- 
tion remained in the hands of the native princes who 
acknowledged themselves the vassals of the Emperor. But 
from him they accepted investiture, Chinese seals of office, 
and decorations as lieges of the empire. Their states were 
divided after the Chinese manner into departments, districts, 
and cantons (fu, chou, and ksien), each of which received a 
Chinese name by which it was entered in the Imperial 
registers ; whilst tributary states west of the Bolor formed 
sixteen fu and seventy-two clieu over which were distributed 
a hundred and twenty-six Chinese military posts. The lists 
of the sixteen districts of the first class has been published by 
Remusat, and though doubts attach to the localities of some, 
enough has been made out to show that this Chinese 
organization extended, at least in theory, over Ferghana 
and the country round Tashkand, over the eastern part at 
least of Mawaralnahr, the country on the Oxus from Balk 
upwards, Bamian and other districts adjoining the Hindu 
Kush, with perhaps Sejistan and part of Khorassan. 

" The states of Turkestan and Khorassan were probably 
desirous to place themselves under Chinese protection in the 
vain hope of finding it a bulwark against the Saracen flood, 
and may themselves have originated this action of the 
Chinese Government." 

Again, Sir Heniy says : «' The existence of an episcopal 
see at Merv and Tus in 334 A.D., raised to Metropolitan 


dignity in 420 A.D., shows how early the church had 
established itself also in Khorassan." 

We believe that " Saragh " — the modern Sarakhs — was a 
great see of the Nestorian Metropolitan at the time when 
our Assyrian Stone of Witness was set up in China. 

How could the Priest Gabriel have been the Archdeacon 
and the Church "ruler" or "Head of the Church" of 
Kumdan and Saragh at the same time? Our explanation 
is this that the one title was official whilst the other was 
honorary. Gabriel enjoyed both titles as he must have been 
often to " Saragh " in order to represent the interests of the 
Nestorian Mission in China. 

To-day, for example, an English missionary bishop 
in Japan acts in two capacities. He is an English bishop in 
the pay of a Missionary Society in London whilst at the 
same time he is, canonically speaking, a bishop of the 
Japanese Church. 

(92) The Director of the Imperial Bureau^ etc. — This 
Bureau which was restored in 704 A.D. was one of the very 
oldest institutions in Chinese history — so old that it dates 
back to almost pre-historic times. 

The Han Dynasty had this Bureau as early as 200 B.C. 
Its organization of the Bureau is thus described in the old 
institutional works : 

" One director with two assistants under him, looks after 
the ceremonies, music, festivals, sacrifices, and worship." 

That this was a most important office from a religious 
point of view is quite clear, and that it should have been 
occupied by our Priest Yeh-li {i.e. Gabriel) shows how 
influential the Nestorians were at the time when the 
Buddhist Patriarch, Amogha-vajra, was all-powerful at the 
Chinese Court. 

(93) The Head Priest of the Monastery. — This may mean 
"The Lord High Abbot," or "the Prior." The priest had 
great power and was appointed by the Imperial Government 



of the T'ang. The Empress-Dowager Wu once appointed 
her favourite priest Huai-i (fH =§f|) as Chief Priest of the 
"White-Horse " Monastery in 685 A.D. 

The Head or Chief Priest of the monastery must • have 
ranked as high as a Metropolitan or Bishop in China at that 

(94) Balkh. — The capital of the ancient kingdom of 
Bactria or Zariaspa and situated on the right bank of the 
Adirsiah or Balkh River. The modern town, enclosed by a 
mud wall and having a citadel, occupies but a fraction of the 
surface embraced by the ancient city, the remains of which 
cover a space twenty miles in circumference, and comprises 
eighteen aqueducts, besides buildings of various ages, all in 
utter ruin. The antiquity and greatness of the place are 
recognized by the native population, who speak of it as " the 
Mother of Cities*' At a very early date, it was the rival of 
Ecbatana, Nineveh, and Babylon, and is said to have dated 
back to Nimrod. For a long time the city and country was 
the central seat of the Zoroastrian religion ; Zoroaster himself 
is said to have died within its walls. 

From the Hsi yu chi {% J|f g§ *£ f£) of Hsuan-tsang, 
a Chinese Pilgrim, we learn that in his time in the seventh, 
century (653-646 A.D.), there were in Balkh, or its vicinity, 
about a hundred Buddhist convents, with 3000 devotees, and 
that there was a large number of stupas and other religious 

There were several important trade-routes from Balkh, 
stretching as far as India and China, and the city itself was of 
a cosmopolitan nature in the Middle Ages. 

In 1220 Genghis Khan sacked the venerable city, 
butchered its inhabitants, and levelled all the buildings ; but 
Marco Polo describes it " as a noble city and a great," 
although it was far greater in former days. But the Tartars 
and other nations have greatly ravaged and destroyed it. 
There were formerly many fine palaces and buildings of 


marble, and the ruins of them still remain. The people 
of the city state that it was here that "Alexander took 
to wife the daughter of Darius." (" Travels of Marco Polo," 
by Sir Henry Yule, p. 158.) 

In 1 348, Timur completed the work of devastation which 
Genghis Khan and others had left undone. 

Again, the city of Balkh, we are told, formed thr seat of 
the government of Aurungzeb in his youth. 

In 1736 it was conquered by Nadir Shah. Under the 
Durani monarchy, it fell into the hands of the A fghans. It 
was conquered by Shah Murad of Kurduz 1820, and 

for some time past has been subject to the Kha of 

(95) Shiang-thsua. This word is very difficult to identify. 
Assemanni has, as we are told by Prof. Margoliuth, " Sinastan " 
(*'.*. China) for it. But this identification cannot be accepted 
since in another part of the Inscription the name " Zhinastan " 
is used to represent China. 

Dr. Heller thinks (1897) tnat tne word " Shiangatsuo," as 
he has it, is " Hsiang-chu " ($& fj£), i.e. " country-lord," the 
Chinese translation of " Chorepiscopos." 

We wish this were so! But neither in Buddhist termi- 
nology nor Taoist phraseology do we come across such a word 
as " Hsiang-chu " ($$ :£). 

If we grant that the word " Hsiang-chu " did exist 
some twelve hundred years ago as an independent title 
for a Nestorian priest, we can find no reason why it should 
have been written only in the Syriac without a Chinese 

Would it not be more natural to find it written in Chinese 
rather than in Syriac, if it were the Chinese translation of the 
term " Chorepiscopos " ? 

For a long time we entertained the view that the word 
u Shiang-thsu " might be a Syriac form of the Chinese title 
of a bishop — " Shang-tso " ( J^ Jtjg), the word itself being 


the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word "Sthavira," 
which means " Head of the local priesthood " or " Chairman 
of the Synod." But we have had to give up our theory 
for the same reason that we found Dr. Heller's theory in- 
acceptable, viz. that if it were the Chinese translation of 
" Chorepiscopos " or u Sthavira," it would have its equivalent 
in Chinese and not in Syriac. 

If we compare the name and title of this chorepiscopos Mar 
Sergius with those of the other chorepiscopos mentioned in 
the Inscription, we see at once that " Shiang-thsua " is nothing 
more than a local name. The force of analogy compels us 
to think that it must be a name of the Nestorian district in 

Mar Yesbuzid, who erected the Nestorian Stone, is 
mentioned as "priest and chorepiscopos of Kumdan, the 
Royal City." 

Adam, the author of the Inscription, is designated as 
" priest and chorepiscopos and Papas of Zhinastaa" 

The two other bishops, Bishop John and Chorepiscopos 
Mar Sergius whose Chinese name was Hsing-t'ung $f jg), 
have no name of a see attached to them. 

We are inclined to identify the word " Shiang-thsua " 
with a local name known to the Nestorians of the time— at 
least to the Persian missionaries in China— as that of a district 
of the Nestorian Church in China. It seems to us that, if 
Mar Yesbuzid was the chorepiscopos of Kumdan (as stated 
in the Inscription) he must have been bishop of the north- 
western part of the modern province of Shensi ; and that 
Mar Sergius, priest and chorepiscopos (of) Shiang-thsua 
must have been bishop of the south-eastern part of the 
same province. The south-eastern part of Shensi was 
commonly known as Hsi-an-tso (® *££) or Hsi-an-ch'ien 

(I§ j2c itlP' because lt is in front of Hsi_an " fu ' but its legal 
name during the early part of the T'ang Era was Hsi-an-chou 

(@ :2c WP» with the city of Hsin S" an " fu as the head of the 


district. " Shiang-thsua " may be the foreign corruption of 
the local name. 

In this Hsing-an-chou (Si ^ ^|»|), there is to-day a 
famous " Shun-yang-kung " (jjfcj£ ^ ^), a temple dedicated 
to the memory of the originator of " the Pills-of-Immortality- 
Religion " whose name is known as Lii Yen, but whom we 
identified with Lii Hsiu-yen, the Chinese scholar, who wrote 
the Inscription for its author Adam. 

The Ta-Ch'ing-I-T'ung-Chih (;fc ffi — $jg jg) says 
that "the old monastery site is in the south-eastern corner 
of the city. It is commonly known as ' Tzu-fei-tao-yuan ' 
(^ H all 1^)' <the Monastery of the Purple-Door 1 or the 
Purple Screen." 

It is very strange that this "Lii Yen" relic should be 
preserved in this city. Is it not due to the fact that Lii Yen, 
i.e. Lii Hsiu-yen, was one of the most influential Christian 
converts, and that he founded the Chin-tan Chiao, "the 
Religion of the Pills of Immortality," that his relics were 
preserved in the old monastery, which, we think, must have 
been a Nestorian monastery in Hsing-an-chou ? 

If we read "Shiang-thsua" for "Shan-tso" ($£ £), 
i.e. "the eastern district of Shen-si," we come to the same 

Finally, if we were to read " Shiang-thsua " for Shang-tu 
(Jt ?$)> *•* " the Metropolis" or "the Capital," which was 
the common appellation of Hsi-an-fu at that time, we must 
conclude that the Bishop of Kumdan was Bishop of the 
north-western district of Shen-si, whilst the Bishop of Shiang- 
thsua or Shang-tu would have been Bishop of the south- 
western part of Shen-si with Shang-tu at the head of the 
district, and Hsing-an-fu is, of course, included within the 
district of Shiang-thsua. In any case we are inclined to 
identify this " Shiang-thsua " with the modern district of 
Hsing-an-fu (f|L t£ ffl )» the old district of Hsi-an-chou 


(The following is the translation of the newly discovered 
inscription which can be seen in the Imperial Museum, Uyeno, 
Tokyo. The original stone belonged to the late Governor-general 
Tuan-fang (j^g ^j), whose collections of "Metals and Stones' 1 
are well known. The rubbing itself is about 18 inches square 
and contains 306 Chinese letters. Only eighteen letters are 
illegible, the rest being quite clear. 

This Inscription which is 72 years older than that on the 
Nestorian Stone settles the vexed question of "A -lo-pin!* No one 
may maintain that "A-lo-han " in this Inscription is the Chinese 
corruption " Raban") 

" The Inscription on the Stone-tablet set up in memory 
of the late Great Persian Chieftain, the General and Com- 
mander of the Right Wings of the Imperial Army of T'ang 
(i.e. China) with the title of Grand Duke of Chin-ch'£ng-chiin 
(in Kan-su) and the Rank of Shang-chu-kuo ( |» jfi- jig), 
i.e. lit. ' The first-class Corner Stone of the Empire ') : 

This is the Stone-tablet erected in memory of A-lo-han 
(PpJ jJH I)|§£), a Persian prince by birth and the most illustrious 
of the whole tribe. During the period of Hsien-ching 
(a.d. 656-661), the then reigning Emperor Kao-Tsung the 
Great, hearing of the meritorious service and illustrious deeds 
of this Persian prince sent a special messenger to invite him 
to his own palace (here are two illegible characters). 

As soon as the Prince arrived at the capital, the Emperor 
appointed him Generalissimo, and charged him with the re- 
sponsibility of defending the Northern Gate (i.e. the northern 

2 5 8 


region of China) — {here is one illegible character) and sent him 
as the Imperial Envoy to the tribes of Tibet, Ephraim, and 
other countries. 

On the western borders of Ephraim, he set up a sjtone 
monument which is still visible and is still preaching the 
essence of the Holy Teaching to the wild tribes ; ever since 
all the surrounding countries {i.e. around the monument) have 
become very peaceful. 

This is mainly due to the virtuous deeds and wise guidance 
of our great General, the Prince of Persia, who ruled over 
those peoples, and invited several foreign tribes to organize 
the Imperial Guards as well as the other Army Divisions. 
So his meritorious service to the country and its Rulers is 

His name should be written for ever on the walls of 
Ch'i-lin-ko* (|$£ f$£ ^), whilst his peerless wisdom and 
priceless talents are worthy of being inscribed on this stone. 
Surely his name should be numbered as one of the Faithful 
in the Yun-fat Hall t (§ & |§). 

On the ist of the 4th moon, the first year of the Ching- 
yiin Period (a.D. 710) at the age of ninety and five years, 
the Prince died suddenly at his own private residence in 

O woeful day on which we lost this Great Prince, the 
Generalissimo and Leader of the Tribes! When he died, 
the wind that blew over the mountain-tops sighed more 
sorrowfully than ever ! The sun that shines over us peered 
most drearily through the dark clouds ! Even the birds 
refrained from singing on that sad day because of his death ! 
How could we therefore restrain ourselves from shedding 

• Ch'i-lin-ko is the name of an Imperial Palace Hall where the Chinese 
Emperor had the portraits of eleven illustrious men painted, in 51 A.D., and is a 
Chinese Walhalla of the first century. 

f Yun-t'ai-ko is another Imperial Palace Hall where the Chinese Emperor had 
the portraits of thirty-two famous generals painted, and is a Chinese Pantheon of 
the third century. 

APPENDIX 1. 259 

tears I The pine-tree suffers from the drought, and we feel 
the silence of the waterless fountain the harder to bear. So 
felt all who followed him to the grave on that sorrowful day. 
O woe betide the day ! 

On the . . . {illegible) day of the month . . . 
{illegible)^ his son and heir Chti-lo ( / £|L jj^) {i.e. Gur) and his 
friends, weeping and lamenting most sincerely with ceaseless 
tears, and afterwards faithfully observing Spring and^ Autumn 
Festivals every year, finally buried the Prince in the suburb 
outside the Chien-ch'un Gate, Ho-nan-fu, and made a small 
grave-mound so that his soul might rest in peace ! " 

(T/ie names of neither the author nor the calligraphical 
writer of the Inscription are given) 

The Syro-Cliinese Text of the Nestorian Inscription. 

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cp^iCUlis.T^a ens ^rxJ»'A\-^:i 



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Sfjf ^ 5$ nutti. rc* 

(Words added by a visitor in A- D. 1859.) 

On the right side. 
Tap roio. 

ft 3& ^ 3: $t n£<^ ^.cuu. 

gft ^D 9 K'afiD^O^rd^x. 


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TAird row. 

« * * 

* * * 




Appendix No. II. 
The original text of the Appendix No. I. 


(I fc «f £ 












Appendix No. Ill 

The original text of the Netftorian Hymn discovered 

by Prof. Pelliot at Sha-chou in 1908. 

* ft = a m m m 


Appendix No. I\. 
The Chinese texts for the quotations on pages 150 and 151. 




Appendix No. V. 
Materials for Ciiou-chih question. 

ffi 3fc « HE «• «J « HI 2 It &i8ft*$cffiij£- W 
***£*:%*• Tfti££- M*tt«.^*iiB 
£.*«*****• *£*«•&£***.&& 

ff JtftJTY- ^«!;&#&. * It 3» # JE £ 2S & 

ft&mmz- mxnn&z- ft&issie- *& 

#j#5i#- *lEgfffi*U^. SUBS 

«^fti£.w^ftBa^.«j?. iiserr-. 



«#at«»£#. £ ft *• » a 2 ft ttf tf & $ 
3f tt J0. 5 1? *t 3S- 



(F) Postal system of Tang Era as described by Liu Tsung-yiian 
in 804 A. D. In this we read about Chou-chih. (Cf. p. 23.) 

KMmzft' mnz&- nTzm&m&nn 

Tat- A^inBwikinnmn- unmrnz 
mm&BX £*b**n. smamm- smm 
smmm^mm' Mmx-%mBmm%B 
w- a bb h * »• sE^ifi-sfif^^iH 

ft#*'SSB'*ft-AH*£ft-1if3#£- a 

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'gG^MM&.ftmmz- ftB5#-«f* 

m- &m*z-m9tmm&9A*z&+&nz 


(G) The description of the Banqueting Hall at Chou-chih by 
Liu Tsung-yiian in 802 A. D. The whole text is translated on 
page 23 of the Introduction. 

mwntm-ni&xm.&tozxn-i&zftT- m 
&z±'b*mnzfc *w*&. ftiiiftft.* 

«^*. /§«&&• £ jus & a. 7* £ « ^ a * 
#.#*&£•«&*«•*& if. i*ffc2«- mii£ 

m-®M^m&&.m&i&mfeMzm- *mm 

jfc*r»fftii. *i»*'erww*. *ja 
«*«*£&• »£«ifii*£&. «»**at 



(H) The Poem about Chou-chih by Lu. The translation of the 
poem in given on page 25 of the Introduction. 


Appendix No. VI. 
The Edict entitled " the Proclamation ordering the destruction 
of the Buddhist monasteries " by the Emperor Wu-Tsung, 845 
A. D. The whole translation of the text is given on pages 
86-89 of the Introduction. 

» f* # « 

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mmzm- m&tonm.mzm- mmmx-mm 

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^h^js- h ffi * ^j.t mu pj g. a ft ^ at- 

()i -£ £ « 36 jE £ :: + rt. # SB H + A 1C) 


Appendix No. VII. 
The destruction oi the Buddhist monasteries as described 
(A) i* 1 tne Chinese History. 

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ft HHf .^®r + A-E»^I^^FSR. *T 


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Appendix No. VIII. 
The letter addressed to the Emperor Wu-Tsung by 
His Prime Minister Li Yii in 845 A. D. 
(See page 89, the Introduction.) 





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mMftmr- mmnx. n&nm. umwrn® 

c zm% nm K&mmzmmm zmx-w %. 
z±i& : &mtzmm.- mmmzm- n&zz 



Appendix No. IX. 

The Persecution against Buddhists in 845 A. D. as 

described by a contemporary historian. 

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gf£H + A.^Tfp£S-#^-%^#H^. 3 

+ AH.15A. j^^Bam^^^. &** + £& 

& 75 in gg m ^. « ft ft j& $ #i £ & • ffe ^ a p • 


Appendix No. X. 
The Imperial Rescript mentioned in the Nestorian Inscription 
as preserved in the Book called T'ang-hui-yao compiled in the 
11th century. 

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A.ftftkTmm. mnm*& &*$-&• site 

if- - A- 

(H Mf # g U9 + *, # + JC) 

Appendix No. XI. 

The Imperial Edict of the Emperor Hsuan-Tsvmg in 745 A. D. 

(See page 130, the Introduction.) 

ifii #• X 1f * ■• S *fl & % & & %■ * ^ * A- 

Appendix No. XII. 

Quotations from Hsi-an Topography showing the 

position of the Nestorian monastery. 


( % m PI £ S « ft 3c * + * E H) 



#• ^SHS 

t \ii\ 



Appendix No. XIII. 
Quotation from " the New Catalogue of the Books (of teaching) 
of S'akya in the Period of Cheng-yuan " (A. D. 785-804). 
(See page 71, the Introduction.) 


m & £• m ® M m- &m m m- m m m ft- m ± m 


Appendix No. XIV. 
The visit of P'an-na-mi, the Persian Chief and Bishop Chi-lieh 

in 782 A. D. 
(See pages 76 and 225, supra.) 


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Appendix No. XV. 
Opinions of Chinese experts on the Nestorian Stone. 


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Appendix No. XVI. 

Mr. Ch'ien, a Chinese authority of " Metal and Stone "writings/* 

on the Nestorian Inscription. 

* at? 

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& j& * sir £• » ti * as * «• &^#£i&. n*i 

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Appendix No. XVII. 

A criticism of Mr. Ch'ien's view about the Nestorian 


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^ *r IB * *U: E ■& B- 


Appendix No. XVIII. 

On the Nestorian Stone by Mr. Wang, a Chinese 

expert on " Metal and Stone writings." 

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* B *T K ft- # « flfc ft J£ il- *ngSUtFf. J£1£& 



Appendix No. XIX. 
Dr. Leon Li's writing on the discovery of 

the Nestorian Stone, written in 1625 A. D. 


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mm- &%t*zmm- %wm&mmpxmm%k 

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tnjimxzm- m^m&m^. &&&&&•& 
m±'®ft : $zM-&^mm 


Appendix No. XX. 

Dr. Paul Hsu's writing on the Nestorian Stone in 1627 A. D. 

The Quotation from his book called u The Iron Cross." 

»**£*•&£#*. *«+::*. m^nt. 


Appendix No. XXI. 

Quotation from Emmanuel Diaz's work on 'the 

Nestorian Inscription. 

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ill iE W± £ R- yft &««• » JB » T Eft M- 

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&• a* # jb * ± & *. £. n&* as asm. just 

£ jft. & * « &. *si jh & «. x^tii^j&.aa 
»n*.*se*tfc. * ^ ± isi h & i$ us- &* 

». ft JS >fc £ A 4*. ^^ilit^HHt 
E *F- M B tt K *f + it- il$c;£*. m^tif&M 

& • £#*&•* 9§ * bf h *. HA * ir * bf ±. ^ & 

*%*m****tM*^'ifc •*»»• up* 

fc*****. $^£&- «»*»*•«$** 
ji#*». «»i^«ggja0ii3B{ft. Banff 



Appendix No. XXII. 

Quotations from the Chinese historical works concerning 

Ta-ch'in and Fu-lin. 



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+ A) 


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Budge, E. A. W. The Historia Monastica of Thomas of Marga. (The 

Book of Governors.) 2 vols. 1899. 
Duchesne, Louis. Histoire ancienne de PEglise. Paris. 1908. Origines 

du culte Chretien. Paris. 1898. (The English Edition of the 

same. London. S.P.C.K. 1912.) 
Edmunds, A. J. Buddhist and Christian Gospels. (Edited and annotated 

by Dr. Anesaki.) Tokyo. 1905. 
Eitel, E. J. Hand-book of Chinese Buddhism. Hong-Kong. 1888. 
Etheridge, J. W. The Syrian Churches. London. 1846. 
Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman 

Empire. (Edited by J. B. Bury.) 7 vols. London. 1909-1914. 
Giles, H. A. China and the Chinese. Columbia University Press, New 

York. 1902. The Civilization of China. London. 191 1. 
Hammond, C. E. Liturgies Eastern and Western. (Edited by F. E. 

Brightman.) Oxford. 1896. 
Havret, Pere Henri. La Stele chr&ienne de Si-ngan-fou. (Varies 

Sinologiques, Nos. VII., XII., XX.) Shanghai. 1895-1902. 
Heller, J. E. Das Nestorianische Denkmal in Singan-fu. Innsbruck. 

Hirth, Frederick. China and the Roman Orient. Shanghai. 1885. 
Holm, Dr. Frits. The Nestorian Monument. (Edited by Paul Cams.) 

Chicago. 1909. 
Hue, Abbe\ Christianity in China, Tartary, and Tibet. (Translated 

into English.) London. 1857, 1858. 
Humboldt, Alex. v. Cosmos. 5 vols. (Translated into English.) 

London. 1 849-1 858. 
Legge, James. The Nestorian Monument of Hsi-an-Fu. Oxford. 1888. 
Lloyd, Arthur. The Creed of Half Japan. London. 191I. 
Milman, H. H. History of Latin Christianity. London. 1855. 
Moule, A. C. The Christian Monument at Hsi-an-Fu. (Journal of the 

North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XII.) 

Shanghai. 1910- . c . „ JJU . . 

Nanjio, Bunyiu. Catalogue of the Chinese Translation of the Buddhist 

Tripitaka. Oxford. 1883. 
Pauthier,G. L'Inscription Syro-chinoise de Si-ngan-fou. Pans. 1858. 



Richard, Timothy. The Awakening of Faith, by Ashvagosha. Shanghai. 

Schaff, P. History of the Christian Church. 7 vols. New York. 

Stanley, A. P. Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church. 

London. 1883. 
Williams, S. W. The Middle Kingdom. New York. 1883. 
Wright, W. A Short History of the Syriac Literature. London. 1894. 
Wylie, Alexander. The Nestorian Tablet in Se-gan-Foo. Shanghai. 

1854, 1855. 
Yule, Sir Henry. Cathay and the Way Thither. 2 vols. London. 

1866. New Ed., 4 vols., 1913-15. (Vols. I., II., III. of new edition 

are already out, and the last will appear soon.) The Book of Ser 

Marco Polo. (Edited by H. Cordier.) 2 vols. London. 1903. 



A-lo-han, 133, 206, 257; Tablet in 

memory of, 206, 257-259, 271 
A-lo-he, 133, 188 
A-lo-pe-n, 51, 81, 82, 90, 94, 113, 153, 

158, 165-167, 204-207, 209, 210, 

213, 257 
Alopun. See A-LO-PEN 
A-lo-ssu, 81, 82 
" A-ssu-chii-li-yung ching," 69 
Aaron, 177 
Aba, Mar-Aba, 183 
Abbot, 252 

Abe-no-nakamaro, 236 
Abhd-isho, 113, 176, 179 
Abi, 176 
Abidharma, 157 

Abraham, 141, 168, 207, 224, 225 ; bar 
Dashandadh, 243 ; Mar, 107, in 
Abu-Becker, 116 
Abulfeda, 248 
Abu Musa ibn Musab, 243 
Abu-nuh-al-Anbari, 243 
Adam, 56, 71-74, 9 2 , l«i "4, 140, 
148, 154, 162, 175, 178, 186-188, 
194, 202, 203, 208, 214, 224, 228, 
247, 255, 256 

Adiabene 5 37 

Adirsiah, 253 

Aethiopia, 218 
Afghanistan, 43 

Afghans, 254 

Africa, m ; N., 115 

Ahmed Rasmi Effendi, 50 

Aix-la-Chapelle, 238 

Alcott, 144 

Aleni, J., 21, 28 

Alexander, of Alexandria, 99; the 
Great, 254 

Alexandria, 39, 4°, 99, io2 , io 4, "5i 
116; Patriarch of, 112 

Alhazen, 117 

Allan, W., 130 

Aloha, 67, 75, 162 

Alopano, 204 

Alps, 238 

Amaterasu Omikami, 126 

America, 32 

Amitabha, 121, 123, 125, 147-149, 
151, 152, 155, 158, 160; Doctrine, 
190, 197, 216 ; meaning of, 122, 
125; origin of doctrine, 149; 
-Sutra,) 122 

" Amitayur-dhyana-sutra," 133, 149, 
151, 188, 197 

Amitayus-sutropadesa, 13 

Amogha-vajra, 127, 135-141, 143, 
232, 233, 252 

Amsterdam, 29 

An-hsi (Parthia), 45, 46, 219 ; (Pro- 
vince), 221 

An-hsi-hsiang, 45 

An-hsi-liu, 46 

An-hui, 221 

An Lu-shan, 23, 51, 226, 231 

An-shih-kao, 46, 122, 149 

An-tu, 40, 181, 182 

An-tun, 41 

Ananda, 138 

Anamnesis, 145 

Ancestor- worship, 113, 133-136, 138- 
140, 143, 158, 160, 201 

Anesaki, M., 118, 202 

Ansoku, 45 

Ansoku-ko, 45, 219 

Antaxata, 41 

Antioch, 40-43, 97~99, 103-105, 115, 
124, 132, 181-183, 190; Patriarch 
of, 91, 112 

Antoninus, M.A., 41, 42 

Apollinarianism, 99 

Apostles' Creed, 70 

Arabia, Arab, 45, 5*. 52, 105, 109, 
1 1 5-1 17, 156, 158, 206 

"Arabian Nights," 51, 226 

Aranyakah, 187 

Archdeacon, 113, 175, 178, etc. 

Arhan, 133 



Arhat, 120, 133, 188 

Arians, 99 

Armenia, 43, 109, no 

Armenian Christians, 61 

Arnobius, no 

Arohan, 207 

Arsacide dynasty, 46 

Arsakes, 46, 122, 149, 219 

Art, 63 ; Hittite, 64 

Arya-dasa, 241 

Asamgha, 130 

Ascension, The, 195 

Asceticism, Buddhist, 120, 121 

Ashvaghosha, 120, 121, 147, 155,216 

Ashiki, 149 

Asia, Central or Upper, 158, 206, 216, 

232, 237, 251, etc. ; Buddhism in, 

118, 120-122, 130, 131 ; Christianity 

in, 118, 130 
Asia Minor, 77 
44 Asiatic Society, Journal of China 

Branch of," 190, etc. 
Assemani, J. S., 35, no, 183, 204, 

206, 207, 245, 254 
Assyrian Church, passim 
Aston, W. G., 125 
Astronomy, Indian books on, 46 
Asuka-oka, 145 
Athanasius, 99, 124 
Athens, 116, 158 
Aurelianus, 42 
Aurungzeb, 254 
Avalokita, 123 
Avalokiteshvara, 123, 195 

Bab-el-Mandeb, 217 

Babylon, 253 

Babylonia, 40, 105, 206 

Bachus, 176, 179 

Bactria, 39,44, 238,253 

Baghdad, 35, 51, 52, 106, 109, 182, 

238, 243, 244 
Bajazet, Sultan, 108 
Balkh, 62, no, 175, 238, 251, 253, 

Bamian, 251 
Bandot, J., 137 

Baptism, Buddhist, 137, 138, 141 
Baptismal Hymn, Nestorian, 65-71, 

115 ; translation, 66, 67 ; text of, 

Bardesanes, 44 
Bashush, 243 
Bartoli, D., 17, 29 
Basil, 99 

Beal, S., 55 

Beards, 200 

Behistan, rock of, 1, 155 

Benares, 119, 121 

Beroe, 243 

Beth-Abhe, 243 

Beth B.i.ghesh, 243 

Beth Hale, 243 

Bethlehem, 76, 77 

Beth Sinaye, 186 

Bethune-Baker, J. F., in 

Bible, 155, 157, 164, 165, 207-209 

" Bibliotheca Orientalis," 35, 183, 245 

Birthday, Festival on Emperor's, 86, 
141, 142, 232-234 

Bishops, 113, 176, 205, etc. ; Mis- 
sionary, 252, etc. ; Nestorian 
Metropolitan, 109, no, 113, etc. 

Bishop, Mrs. I. B., 13 

Bismarck, 208 

Biwa, 146 

Board, Beating of, 198 

Bodhidharma, 147 

Bodhiruchi, 13, 136, 147, 194 

Bodhisattva, 121, etc. 

Bodleian Library, 72 

Bokhara, 254 

Bolor, 251 

44 Book of Changes," 187 

Books, Buddhist, passim ; Chinese 
in Japan, 146 ; Nestorian in China, 
68-71, 208, 209 ; rare Buddhist in 
Korea, 119; translation of Chris- 
tian, 208, 209 

44 Books, New Catalogue 
dhist," 72, 289 

Bfcpvs, 45 

Boym, M., 29 

Breviary, Malabar, no; 


Brahmans, 156 

Bridgman, E. C, 29, 185 

British Museum, 8, 10, 30 

Brittany, 144 

Broomhall, M., 49 

Buchus, 68 

Buddha, 13, 73, 77, 120, 121, 123- 
125, 133, 138, 150^52, 178, 188, 
195, 217, 241, etc. ; bone of, 86 

Buddhas, Cave of Thousand, 216, 

Buddhism, 92, 114, 116, 132-134, 
136, 138, 186, 193, 194, 205, 209, 
238, etc ; Chinese, 139, 144, 145, 
158, etc.; difficult to compare 

of Bud- 




with Christianity, 119; Hinayana, 
65, etc.; Indian, 118, 136, 139, 
149, etc. ; influence of Nestorians 
on Chinese, 118-161 ; Japanese, 
65, 121, 139, 144-147, 152, 155, 
197, 198, 201, 219, etc. ; Mahayana 
or Northern, 86, 118, 119, 121, 
149, etc. ; not in Fu-lin, 80 ; per- 
secution of, 82, 85-90, 133, 134, 
143, etc. ; relation to Christianity, 
118-161 ; rise of, 87 ; Southern, 
118, 119, 122, 139, 144, 146, 148, 
149, 156, etc. ; spread of, 134, 135, 
" Buddhism, Biographical History 
of," 142, 233 ; " Handbook of 
Chinese," 138 ; " N. T. of Higher," 

Buddhist, Books, 65, 119, 133, etc. ; 
versions of, 137, 149 ; Mahayana, 
44, 46, etc. ; doctrine, 157 ; evi- 
dence of Nestorian Christianity, 
71-75 ; number of monasteries 
and of monks, 86-89, 91 ; ditto in 
Japan, 86; Sects, 119, 120, 126, 
146, etc. ; sutras, 135, etc. ; 
Temples in Korea, 181 ; terms, 
132, 217, 218, 254, etc. ; texts, 

" Buddhist and Christian Gospels," 

" Buddhist Catechism," 144 
"Buddhist Scriptures, Catena of," 

" Buddhist Sects, History of Twelve," 


Buddhists, 1, 12, 13, 74, 233, 234, 
242, etc.; number of, 118; ditto 
in Japan, 146 

Budge, E. A. W., 36, 186, 198, 244, 

Bu-do, 45 
Bun-mei, 177 
Bun-tei, 177 
Bunyan, J., 195 
Bureau, Imperial (T'ai-ch'ang-ssii), 

252, etc. 
Burma, 118 

" Bussetsu Amida kyo," 149, 150 
"Bussetsu Muryo ju kyo," 149 
But-lam, 76 
But-lim (-lin), 76, 77 
Butrum, 77 
Byzantine Art, 63 
Byzantium, 39 

Caliph Al-Mahadi, 244 

Caliph al-Rashid, 244 

Cambridge, 44 

Canton, 72 

Capital, Eastern, 4 ; Western, 4, 5, 

Carthage, Bishop of, in 
Carus, 42 
" Cathay and the Way thither," 52, 

90, no, 130, 200, 204, 248-250 
Catholicos, 68, 132, 175, etc. 
Celestine, 102 
Celibacy, 153, etc. 
Ceylon, 72, 118, 137 
Chakravarti, 123 
Chalcedon, 104 ; Council of, 91 
Chaldaea, 183 
Chaldaeans, 105 
Ch'an sect, 126 
Chandra-dasa, 241 
Chang Ch'ien, 39-41 
Chang K£ng-yii, 17, 20, 27, 95 
Chang Kuang-cheng, 84 
Chang-sun, 219 
Chang- te" fu, 216 
Ch'ang-an, 1-5, 12, 17, 18, 21, 23, 26, 

27, 35, 37, 62, 83-85, 93, 137, 140, 

144, 146, 159, 165, 214, 219, 222, 

223, 228, 237, 239, 241, 248 ; hsien, 

3 ; and see Hsi-an fu 
" Ch'ang-an chih (Topography)," 4, 

81, 220 ; texts, 288, 289 
" Ch'ang ming huank to ching," 68 
Ch'ang shSng chSn chiieh, 54 
Chao (million), 129 ; and see Chau 
Chao-i-lang, 247 
Chao-i-lang-ch'ien-hang, 57, 247 
Chao-kuang Chiao, 48 
Chao-td, 177 
Chao-t'i, 187 
Charlemagne, 37, 238 
Chau Ju-kua, 183 
"Chau Ju-kua," 182, 183 
Chavannes, E., 76, 190 
Cheikho, L., 204 
Chekiang, 20, 27, 57, 58, 9A J 75 J E-, 

Cher sect, 146, 219 ; and see 

Chen-tan, 187 n 

Ch6n-yen sect, 126, 131, 138; and 

see Shingonshu 
Chfing-chou, 8, 10 
Chcng-kuan (period), 81, 88, 165, 

166, 207-209 



" Cheng tsu t'ung," 22 
Cheng-yuan (period), 85, 234 
"Cheng yuan hsin ting Shih chiao 

mu lu," 71, 72, 289 
Ch'eng-ch'i, 226 
Ch'eng-hua (period), 7 
Ch'eng-shih sect, 126 
" Ch'£ng-tsan Ching-t'u Fo nieh 

shou ching," 149 
Ch'eng-tu, 231 
Cherakhs, 250 

Cfa'(x), 132 

Chi, 1 1 

Chichintales, 90 

Chi-chou, 221 

Chi- ho, 168, 169, 229, 230 

Chi-ku-setsu, 233 

Chi-lieh, 75, 76, 168, 224, 225, 230, 

Chi-nei, 248 
Chi-tao, 54 

Ch'i dynasty, 87 ; Prince, 203 
" Ch'i chen ching," 70 
Ch'i-lin ko, 258 
Ch'i-shan, 20 
Ch'i-yang, 17, 95 
" Ch'i yuan ch€n ching," 7 
Chia-ching (period), 7 
Chiang Chen, 84 
Chiang- chou, 83 
Chiang-liang-yeh-she, 1 5 1 
Chiang-nan, 222 ; E. & W., 58 
Chiao, 127 
Ch'iao Lin, 84 
Chien, 202 
Chien, Mnt., 222 
Chien-ch'un Gate, 259 
Chien-chung (period), 35, 170, 174, 

175, 234 
Chien-nan, 222 
Ch'ien-ch'iu chieh, 233 
Ch'ien-chou, 84 
Ch'ien-fo tung, 216, 232 
Ch'ien-lung (period), 211 
Ch'ien Ta-hsin (Mr.), 20, 59, 177, 

245, 293, 296 
Ch'ien-yen, 68 
" Chih chieh ching," 69 
Chih-chien, 179 
Chih-i, 44 
Chih-k'ai, 130 
Chihli (Pechili), 44, 221 
Chih-te, 179 

" Chih yuan an lo ching," 68 
Chin dynasty, 87 

Chin-ch'Sng chiin, 206, 257 

Chin-kang-chih, 127, 135, 137 

Chinkiang-fu, Churches at, 90 

Chinnampo, 13 

Chin-sheng ssu, 6, 7, 19 

" Chin shih tsui pien " prohibited in 
Japan, 31 

Chin-tan Chiao, 2, 48, 49, 53, 55-61, 
91, 158, 160, 161, 246, 256 ; 
Liturgy, 61 ; relation to Christi- 
anity, 53 sqq. 

Ch'in-chou, 221 

Ch'in dynasty, 3, 187, 221 

China, passim; communication with 
W-> 39-47 ; Metrop. See of, 109- 
iii ; N., 216; S., 132, 215 

" China, and the Chinese," 45 ; " and 
the Roman Orient," 40, 76, 77 ; 
" Hist, of," 234, etc. ; " Illus- 
trated " (Afon. Ilhistrata), 29; 
" Mission Handbook," 56 ; "u. die 
Chinesen," 49 

Chindamani, 12 

Chinese, Christians, 30, etc. ; 
Empire, 40, etc. ; Foreign words 
in, 44-46 ; Republic, 30 

Ching % 127-129, 132, 183, 184, 

Ching (or King), R., 6, 73 

Ching-chao (-yin), 3 

Ching-chdn, 177 

Ching Chiao, 127-132, etc. 

11 Ching chiao k'ao," 246, 293-295 

Ching chia pei. See Nestorian 

" Ching chiao pei wen chi shih k'ao 
ch£ng," 190, 245 

" Ching chiao San Wei meng tu 
tsan," 65-81, 272 ; and see Bap- 
tismal Hymn 

Ching-ching, 34, 36, 71-/4, 92, 162, 
184, 186-188, 194, 214, 224, 228, 
232, 246, 247 

Ching-chou, 221 

Ching-fu, 179 

Ching-hsiang, 132 

Ching Kang, 84 

Ching-shih, 129 

Ching-te, 177 

Ching-t'u, 195, etc, ; see JODO, SUK- 
havati, etc. ; sect, 126 

Ching-t'ung, 68, 178 

Ching-yang, 208 

Ching-yiian, 83 

Ching-yun, 258 



Ch'ing-chou, 42 

"Ch'ingi ching," 69 

Chinghiz Khan, 90, 109, 253 

Chiu-chiang, 58 

Chorepiscopos, 62, 103, 114, 154, 162, 

175, 178, 187, 222, 254, 255, etc. 
Chou (Department), 251, etc. 
Chou dynasty or state, 3, 59, 87, 166, 

186, 210, 211, 214, 215, 223, 239; 

Duke of, 214 ; Eastern, 167, 223 * 

King of, 3 
Chou-chih, 16-27, 84, 85 ; poem by 

LuLun, 25 ; texts, 274-280 
"Chou-chih, On the completion of 

the new Banqueting Hall at," 

Chou K'ii-fei, 182, 183 
Chou-nan, 22, 249 
Christ, 160, etc. 
Christian, 132 
"Christan Archaeology and Art," 

" Christian Art, Symbolism in," 190 
" Christian Churches, History of," 

100, 101 
"Christian Teaching of Coin Mot- 
toes," 130 
" Christianisme en Chine," etc., 95, 

97 \ . 

Christianity, Christians, passim; 

Assyrian (Nestorian or Syrian), 1, 
38,43, 47, 48, 140-144, 148,. 152, 
153, 155. I9'» *9 2 , etc -J Chinese 
name for, 127-132 ; in China, 30, 
38, 39, 73, etc. ; difficulty of com- 
paring with Buddhism, 1 19 ; early 
in China, no; like Buddhism, 
129, 130 ; not mentioned in China 
9th to 13th cent., 90 ; influence of, 
93, 94 ; Nestorian common under 
Mongols, 90 ; persecution of, 159 ;. 
prohibition-boards, 29, 32 ; rela- 
tion to Buddhism, 118-161 ; rela- 
tion to Islam, 50-52 ; sects, 201 ; 
spread of, 43, 94, 96 
" Christianity in China, Tartary and 

Tibet," 95, 97 . . 

" Christianity, Mission and Expan- 
sion of," 44 

" Chronicles (Shih Chi)," 39, 4S 

Chrysostom, 99, 102 

Chu (i.e. T'ien-chu), 17 

Chu Tz'ii, 83-85 

Chu-wa, 178 

Ch'u, 129 

Ch'u, 185 

Ch'u Sui-liang, 57, 247 

Chii-hsin, 78, 177 

Chii Po-yii (or Yu), 59 

Chii-lo, 259 

Chii-lu, 68 

Ch'ii-shen, 180 

Ch'uan hua ching," 69 

Chuang-tzu, 135 

Chung, 189, 190 

Chung-ho, 178 

" Chung-hsii chen ching," 135 

Chung kuo, 185, 186 

Chung-li Ch'uan, 54 

Chung-Tsung, 82, 223, 224, 228 

Ch'ung-ching, 176 

Ch'ung-je*n ssu, 7, 16 

Ch'ung-sheng ssu, 6 

Ch'ung-tS, 179 

Church, The, passim; Assyrian or 
Nestorian, 95, 106, 112, etc. ; 
Catholic, 143 ; Celtic, 144 ; Greek, 
95, 112, 113; Head of, 175, 252; 
Roman, 95, 112,113, 144; Western, 
112, 114 

Civilization, Ch'ang-an, 1, 2, 92, 94, 
95, 146, 159 ; Chinese, i, 157, etc. ; 
Christian, 2 ; Graeco-Roman, 157, 
182 ; Greek, 115 ; Roman, 1,115 ; 
Western elements in Chinese, 117, 
155 ; Western introduced by Nes- 
torians, 11 5-1 18 

Clarke, P., 11 

Clement of Alexandria, 115 

Cloud, on Nest. Mon., 14, 27 ; Fly- 
ing, 14 ; Monastery and sect of 
Great, 220 ; White, 14 J Sect of 
White, 48 

Cochin-China, 28 

Conduct, Eight Rules of, 194 

Confucianism, Confucianists, 1, 92, 
132, 134, 138, 139, 142, 143, 156, 
158, 234 ; join in Birthday Service, 
Confucius, 39, 93, 15°, 2I 4 

Constantine, 78, 177 ; the Great, 

124, 132, 196 
Constantinople, 76, 97-i°°> io2 > io 4» 

Convents, Buddhist, 214, 220, etc. ; 

Nestorian, 81, 141, etc. 
"Cosmos," 115 
Cowley, 63 
Cranganor, 28 
Craze, La, 33 




Cremation, 134, 139, 144 

Cromwell, O., 29 

Cross, The, 70, 162, 164, 188, 196, 

197 ; Doctrine of, 70 ; on Nest. 

Mon., 14, 27 j Sign of, 113 
" Cross, The Iron," 18, 306 
Crystal, 240 
Ctesiphon, 41, 42 
"Culte Chretien, Origines du," 124, 

Cyriacus, 179, 225, 230 
Cyril, 102-105, in, 112 
Cyzicus, 101 


Dai Nichi Kyo, 127 

Dai Seishi, 123 

Danapati, 236 

Daniel, 157 

Danna, 44 

Darius, 254 

Darkness, 188 

Dasa, 15, 172, 241 

Dasarhas, 241 

David, 68, 176 ; Metropolitan of 

China, no, i 11, 186, 187 
Dead, Prayers for, 165, 201, 202, 234 
Demetrianus, 43 
Dengyo Daishi, 37, 57, 126, 140 
Dharma, 125 
Dharmagupta, 136 
Dharmakaya, 124, 125,201 
Dharmaraksha, 136, 138, 194 
Dhyana, 125, 126 ; Bodhisattva, 125 
Dhyani, 157 ; Buddha, 125 
Diaz, E. (Jr.), 15, 17-19, 21, 229, 307 
"Dictionary, Eng.-Chin.," 128; 

"K'anghsi," 129 
Diodorus, 99 
Dioscorides, 117 
Diptychs, 61, 65-70, 75» "3i H3> 

201 ; Syriac names on, 75, 78 
" Doctrine of the Mean," 156 
Dogs, Korean, 64 
Donran, 13, 147 
Doshaku, 13, 147 
Dowling, 191 

Dragon's Beard, 168, 228, 229 
Dschondisapur, 116 
Dsiheber, 117 
Ducange, 183 

Duchesne, 91, it I, 112, 124, 145 
Dunyn-Szpot, 260, 276 
Durani, 254 
Dynasties, The Three, 171, 239 

E^Fu-Lin, 70, 78 

" E-fu-lin ching," 70 

E ko, 201 

E-ning. See I-NING 

East, Children of the, 109 ; worship 

towards the, 198-200 
"East Syrian Daily Offices," 13, 196 
" Eastern Church," 132 
Ebedjesu. See Abdh-Isho 
Ecbatana, 253 
Ecgfrith, 130 

Edessa, 42-44, 105, 115, 158 
Edict of 638, 136, 166, 209-213 ; text, 

Edict of 745, 213 ; text, 288 
Edict of 845, 47, 48, 86-89; text » 

281, 282 
Edkins, J., 74 
Edmunds, A. J., 120 
Edrisi, 248 
Edwin, 130 
Egypt, 42, 77, 98, 105, "4, "5. 124, 

Ei-toku, 178 
Eight, Cardinal Virtues, 192-194 ; 

Precepts, 193 ; Rules of Conduct, 

Eitel, E. J., 12, 137, 138 
Elias, 176, 178 
Elijah, 70, 204 
Eliya, Mar, no, 186 
Elizabeth, Queen, 49, 50 
Elnathan, 204 
Eloah, 15 
"Eloge des trois Majeste's," etc., 

fransl., 66, 67, 70. See Bapt. Hymn 
Eloh, 188, 190 
Eloha, 133 
Elohim, 188 

Embassies from Rome, 41, 42 
Emerson, W., 154 
Emmanuel, 179 
Emperor, Birthday Festival, 232-234, 

etc.; Portraits of, 166, 168, 216, 

227-229; late of Japan, 201 ; The 

Yellow, 229 
En-wa, 176 
England, 130 

Enoch, 78, 177 ., r 

Ephesus, 102-105, in ; Council of, 

102-104, in, 112 
Ephraim, Ephrem, 70, 75, 76, 78, 80, 

141, 176, 179, 181, 182, 230, 238 ; 

of Elam, 37 ; of Gunde-Shabhor, 

243, 244 



Episcopos, 132; and see Bishop 
" Essay on Man," 193 
Etheridge, 206 
Eudokia, 102 
Euphrates, 39, 218 
Euprepius, Convent of, 105 
Europe, 38, 132 
Evangelists, The Four, 68 

Fa-Chien, 237 

Fa-chu, 132 ; cf. 167, 175 

Fa-hsiang sect, 126 

Fa-hsien, 42, 198 

Fa-lu sect, 48 

Fa-wang, 68-70 

Fa-yuan, 178 

Faith, Salvation by, 151, 216, etc. 

Falcon, 46 

Fan Yeh, 18 

Fang Hsiian-ling, 165, 208 

Fasts, 114, 200 

Favre, L., 183 

feii-shhiy 190 

Fen-yang, 54, 171, 239 

Feng-chSn, 179 

Feng-hsiang fu, 17 

Feng-shui, 3 

FSng-t'ien, 83, 84, 237 

Ferghana, 45, 251 

Fernandez, A., 28 

Fetneh, 226 

Firuz, Brothers of, 82, 106, 241 

" Fo shuo A-mi-t'o ching," 149 

" Fo shuo kuan wu-liang-shou ching," 

"Fo shuo Pao-t'ai ching," 193, 

" P'o shuo Wu-liang-shou ching," 149 

" Fo tsu li tai t'ung tsai," 233 

Football, 145 

" Four Gates sutra," 70 

Fu, 251 

Fu-kien, 58, 222 

Fu-lin, 40, 76-80, 181-183 ; Mystery 
of, 76-80 ; same as Li-k'an or Ta- 
ch'in, 76 ; = Bethlehem, 76, 77 ; 
= Ephraim, 78, 79 ; = Polin, 76 ; 
= Rome, 77 ; = Syria, 77 ; de- 
scribed, 79 ; Greater and Little, 
80; King of, 78, 79', texts, 310- 
320; Priest, 75, 78, 79, 176 

Fu-p'ing hsien, 12 

Fu-shou, 176 

Fu-shui chen, 8 

Eu-tsu-lin, 176 

Fujiwara, Kanesane, 154; Sudatoshi, 

Fukuju, 176 
Fuku Kongo, 137 
Funazoko, 195 

Gabriel, 94, 175, 180, 225, 252 
Gandhara, 120, 130, 216 ; Council at, 

Ganem, 226 

"Garbha sutras," 193, 194 
Gaul, 137 

Gautama, 119, 120, 150 
Genghis. See Chinghiz 
Genichi, 177 

Genku, 146-148, 153, 154 
Genran, 178 
Genshin, 147, 177 
Genso, 179 
Gentoku, 179 
George, 68, 69, 75, 141, 176, 178, 205, 

230, 243 
Germany, 208 
Getai, 44 
Ghanta, 198 

Gibbon, E., 29, 38, 52, 73, 90 
Giesler, in 
Gikyo, 178 
Gilan, 206 
Giles, H. A., 44, 45 
Gisai, 179 
Giwa, 229 

Giwargis, 205, 230 ; and see GEORGE 
" Glossarium," etc., 183 
Good Hope, C. of, 64 
Goodness, Three kinds of, 151, 152 
Gordon, Mrs., 32, 118, 131, 138 
Gouvea, A. de, 17, 29 
Government, Eight objects of, 170, 

234-236 ; Grand scheme of, 235, 

"Governors, Bopk of," 36, 37, no, 

186, 198, 206, 244 
Grapes, 45 

" Great Learning, The," 157 
Great-Sun worship, 144 
Great Wall, 39, 41 
Greek, Art, 63 ; buckle in Far East, 

63, 64 ; used by Nestorians, 115 ; 

words in Chinese, 45 
Greeks, 117 
Gur, 68, 259 
Gyoga, 92 

Gyogi Bosatsu, 32, 125, 136, 139 
Gyori, 225 



Hadrian, 41 

Hai-yen ward, 220 

Han dynasty, 3, 40, 41, 59, 87, 167, 

221, 249; Eastern, 4, 221 ; Minor 

or Shu, 4 
" Han dynasty, History of," 181,216; 

" History of After,'' 181, 182 
" Han-shan-tzu chi," 135 
Han T'ai-hua, 180 
Han Yu, 57, 85, 86, 91 
Hanan-Ishu, Henan-Isho, 35, 36,69, 

J o7, 175. 183, 242-245 
Hang-chou, 17, 20, 26, 95 
Hao, 219; Western, 168, 223 
Harnack, A., 43, 44, 132 
Hase (Hasi), 46 
Hasitaka, 46 
Havret, H., 17, 19, 30, 187, 191, 204, 

Harun al-Rashid, 51, 226, 238 
Hay ton, 90 
Hazza, 243 
Heaven, Idea of, 156 ; Western, 122, 

etc. ; worship of, 136 
Hebrew words in Chinese, 45, 46, 

188, 189, 191 
Hebrews, Epistle to, 197 
Hedhai-yabh, 243 
Heller, J. E., 30, 225, 245, 254, 255 
Hen-Rud, 250 
Herodotus, 218 
Hierarchy, Court, 237 
Himalayas, 119 
Hinayana, 65, 1 19-123, 134, 139, 

146, 148, isy; unlike Christianity, 

Hindu Kush, 251 
Hindus, no, 158, 187 
Hirth, F., 40, 76, 77, 182 
" Histoire de Pancienne Eglise, 112 
" Historical Magazine," 78 
"History, Mirror of," 158, 159 
Hittites, 63, 64 
" Hittites, The," 63, 64 
Ho-chi, 141,176 
Ho-kuang, 179 
Ho-ming, 179 
Ho-nan, 49, 53, 207, 221, 249 ; fu, 

Ho-pei, 221 
Ho-sa-yeh, 68 
Ho-tung, 221 
Hogen, 178 
Hogg C.F.,51 
Hokekyo, 130 

Hoko, 179 

Hokoku, 179 

Holm, F. von, 9, 11, 30, 32 

Honchi suijaku, 136 

Honen Shonin, 146, 148, 153, 154 

Honeysuckle design, 63 

Honganji, 51 

Hongwanji, 197 

Horses, Arab, 45 

Hosamba, 245 

Hosea, 68 

Hoshin, 179 

Hoshu, 12 

Hotatsu, 776 

Hotoke, 65 

"Hou Han Shu," 181, 182 

Hsi-an-ch'ien, 255 

Hsi-an chou, 255, 256 

Hsi-an fu, 2-12, 15-23, 26-28, 37, 
38, 41, 47, 5i, 54, 55, 61, 65, 75, 
79, 85, 92, 95, 96, 114, 126, 129, 
130, 137, 140, 145, 161, 183, 186, 
187, 207, 214, 221, 222, 225, 237, 
248, 249, 255, 256 ; described, 5, 
6 ; history of, 3, 4 ; size of, 4 

Hsi-an-tso, 255 

Hsi fang ching t'u, 151 

Hsi kua, 45 

Hsi-la-ssu, 250 

Hsi-ming monastery, 72, 237 

Hsingan. See Hsi-an FU 

Hsi wang mu, 218 

" Hsi-yu-chi," 238, 253 

Hsia dynasty, 87, 239 

Hsiang-chu, 254 

Hsien y 251 

Hsien (King of Chou), 3 

Hsien-ching, 257 

Hsien-fgng (period), 180 

Hsien-j£n, 218 

Hsien-nan-yeh, 68 

Hsien-ning, 3, 6 

Hsien-t'ien (period), 167, 223 

Hsien-Tsung, 86 , 

Hsien-yang, 3 

Hsien-yu ssu (monastery), 84, 85 

Hsin Wen-fang, 60 

Hsing-an, chou, 256 ; fu, 255, 256 

Hsing-ch'ing Palace, 141, 169, 230 

Hsing-t'ung, 175, 255 

Hsu Kuang-ch'i (Paul), 17, 18, 96 
97, 306 

Hsuan, 185 

Hsiian-chen, 177 

" Hsiian-i ching," 69 



Hsiian-lan, 178 

Hsiian-te, 78, 179 

Hsiian-tsang, 79, 135, 139, 149, 238, 

253 ; " Travels of," 33 
Hsiian-Tsung, 58, 130, 137, 140, 141, 
168, 173, 208, 213, 216, 221, 223, 
224, 226-228, 230-232, 239, 288 
" Hsiian yuan chih pen ching," 68 
Hu language, 72 
Hu-nan, 222 
Hu-pei, 221 
" Hua hu ching," 215 
Hua-yang, 23, 26 
Hua-yen sect, 126 
Huai-i, 237, 253 
Huai-nan, 221 
Huan-shun, 177 
Huan-Ti (Han), 41 
Huang-ho, 31 
Huang P'u, 62 

Hue, Abbe\ 30, 95-97, 189, 192, 196, 
202,209, 211, 228, 232, 240, 242, 
." Hui-chWs Visit to the Five 
Indies," 80 

Hui-ho, 220 

Hui-ming, 176 

Hui-tao-chen-jSn (or -shih), 60 

Hui-t'ung, 176 

Hui-yiian, 215 

Hulaku Khan, 109 

Hulme, 190 

Humboldt, A. von, 115, 117 

" Hun yuan ching," 69 

Huns, 39, 77 

I-CHI, 179 

" I -ching," 187 

I-feng (period), 81 

I-ho-chi-ssu, 68 

" I-li-yeh ching," 70 

" I-li-yiieh-ssu ching," 69 

I-ning ward, 16, 81, '166, 209-211, 

213, 220, 241 
I-p'u-lan ssii, 181 
I-ssu, 26, 170, 171, 236-240 
" I-tse-lu ching," 70 
Ibreez, 63 
lhai, 65, 143 
Image Teaching, 87 ■ 
Images, 132; used by Nestonans, 

Immortals, The, 8, 54, 167, 218 
Incense, 45, 219 ; -wood, 62, 63, 65 
India, 14, 39, 44, 65, 74, 77, 79, IQ9, 

no, 116, 146, 198, 216, 217, 253; 
Central, 42, 72 ; North, 43, 72, 
137 ; North-west, 118, 121 ; South, 
131 ; West, 121 

Indian Ocean, 217 

Inscriptions, Book of, prohibited in 
Japan, 31 

" Iron Cross, The," 18, 306 

Isa, 243, 244 

Isaac, 176, 178, 180 ; i.e. I-ssu {q.v.), 
236-240 ; the Jew, 238 ; the 
Patriarch, 37; Nestorian Patri- 
arch, 106 

Ise\ 125 

Isho-yahbh III., 36, 37, 52, 107,243, 

Ishvara, 123 
Islam, see Mohammedanism ; True 

man of, 60 
" Islam in China," 49 
Italians, 115, 117 
Italy, 137, 144 
Ito, Dr., 63 

Itsukushima shrine, 239 
Iyetsuma, 29 
Izadsafas, 177 

Jaballaha, 204, 206, 207, and see 


Jacob, 178, 179, 231 5 Mar, 36, 242, 
244 ; the Patriarch, 37 

Japan, II, 29, 31-33, 37, 45, 46, 
61-65, 86, 91, 92, "8, 119, 136- 
140, I45-H7, 156, I59- 16 ', J 98, 
201, 202, 219, 220, 224-226. 231, 
237, 239, 241, 252 ; influenced by 
Nestorians, 93; national move- 
ment in, 145 ; visited by Persians, 
61,62 . 

Japanese, 77 ; foreign words in, 44" 

46, 93 
Jaquet, 76 
Javan, no 
Jen, 191 
Jen'-hui, 177 
Jerusalem, 132 
Jesu-ameh, 177 
Jesudad, 177, 179 
Jesus, 160 
Jesus, Mercy of, 175 
Jewish Inscription, 207, 224, 225 
Jews, 50 
Jigaku, 92 
Jih, 128, 183, 184 
Jih-chin, 176 



Jinkei, 177 

Jnanagupta, 130 

Jo-shui, 218 

Job, 177 

Jodo, 195, cf. Ching-t'u, etc. ; sect, 

146, 147, etc. 
" Jodo-ron," 13 
Joel, 176 
John, 176-180 ; Bishop, 176, 255 ; 

Patr. of Antioch, 103, 104; St., 

John, Gospel of St., 200 
Joseph, son of Mari, 37 ; of Merv, 

243, 244 
Ju-lai, 123, 133 
Judaea, 40, 182, 191, 207 
Jui-Tsung, 223, 224, 226, 228, 237 
Julien, S., 33 
Jundo, 181 
/*»#, Jung-?ung % 197 

Justin Martyr, 41 
ustinian, 116 

K'Ai-FiNG FU, 207, 225 

K'ai-yuan (period), 88, 225 

" K'ai-yiian mu-lu," 122 

Kalayashas, 151, 188 

Kammu, 130 

Kan-chou, Kanchau, 90 

Kan-su, 49, 206, 221, 231, 257 

Kan Ying, 41 

Kandai, 222, 248, 249 

Kanishka, 121, 133 

"K'ang-hsi Dictionary," 129 

Kanjun, 177 

Kappa (*), 132 

Kao Li-shih, 141, 168, 227 

Kao-Tsu, 3, 203, 228 

Kao-Tsung, 94, 153, 167, 173, 219, 

223, 228, 257 
Kapilavastu, 119, 218 
Kapisa, 72, 148 
Kardagh, 206 
Kash-kul, 70 
Kashmir, 140, 186, 194 
Kasuga shrine, 239 
Katherine the Great, 93 
Kechien Kwango, 138 
Keifuku, 179 
Keimei, 176 
Keishin, 177 
Keitoku, 177 
Keitsu, 176, 178 
Keng Wei, 25 
Kennaya, 68 

Kenyu, 177 

Keum-chyong, 13 

Khanbalig, Khambling, no 

Khorassan, 250, 251, 252 

Khotan, 43, 131, 148, 198, 216 

Khurdistan, 116 

Kiang-nan, 57, 58 ; and see Chiang- 

Kiang-si, 54, 58, 96, 222 
Kiang-su, 58, 222 
Kin Tan Kiao. See Chin-tan 

King, 186 

King Kiao. See CHING Chiao 
King Tsing. See CHING-CHING 
Kiogin, 180 
Kircher, A., 17, 29 
Kiyoshin, 177 
Knowledge, 200 
Ko Shu-han, 240 
Kobo Daishi, II, 12, 32, 37, 75, 91, 

92, 126, 136, 139, 140, 142, 144, 

214, 239 
Kohana, 119 
" Kojiki," 37, 61 
Kokei, 176 
Kondo Seisai, 31 
Kong-t'ien, 248 
Kongobuji, n 
Korea, 13, 45, 46, 64, 90, 118, 119, 

11 Korea," 13 
Koreans, 77 
Korean script, 63 
K k ou, 184, 185 
Kosai, 178 
Kosei, 179 
Kotoku, 180 
Koya, Mount, II, 12, 32 
Kuan-chung, 18, 221 
Kuan-nei, 25, 221, 222, 248, 249 
Kuan-tzu-tsai, 123 
Kuan-yin, 55, 123, 195 
Kuang-ch£ng, 179 
Kuang-chi, 178 
Kuang-ch'ing, 176 
Kuang-lu-ta-fu, 170, 237 
Kuang-pSng Prince, 231 
Kuang-si, 222 
Kuang-te, 180, 225 
Kuang-tung, 222 
Kublai Khan, 145, 146 
Kumarajiva, 136, 149, 194 
Kumbet, 64 
Kumbhira, 12, 13 



Kumdan, 25, 73. 94, 154, i75» 178, 
222, 248, 249, 252, 255, 256 

Kuo-i, 225 

Kuo Tzu-i, 26, 54, 171, 231, 237, 239, 

Kusumapura, 218 

Kuwabara, Dr., 6, 7, 32 

Kyoto, 37, 51,64, 118, 197,214 

Kyuretsu, 225 

Lai-wei, 177 

Laity, 242 

" Lalla Rookh," 250 

Lao-tzu, 156, 192, 195, 202, 212, 215, 

"Lao-tzu hsi sheng hua hu ching," 

Languages of Churches, 115 
" Last Essays," 50 
Latin, used by Nestorians, 115 
" Latin Christianity, Hist, of," 1 1 1 
Law, Buddhist, 125 
Leek, 45 
Legge, J., 29, 34-36, 127, 156, 184, 

185, 189, 190, 193, 194, 197* 203, 

209, 211, 217, 222, 228, 232, 233, 

240-242, 245, 247 
Leiju, 177 
Leitoku, 177 

Leon Li. See Li Chih-TS'ao 
Li-chien, 177 
Li Chih-ts'ao (Ldon), 17, 19, 20, 27, 

Li-ch'iian ward, 81, 241 
Li-k'an, 40, 76, 181, 182 
Li-kien, 182 
Li Kuang-pi, 240 
Li-mi, 62 
Li-mi-i, 62 
Li-p6n, 178 
Li Shih-min, 203 
LiTuan, 25 e 

Li T£-yii, or Yii, 47 : Letter of, 89, 

285, 286 
"Li Yii (TS-yu), Complete Works 

of," 89 
Li Yuan, 203, 204, 208 
Li-yung, 179 
Liang dynasty, 87 
Liang-chou, 221, 222 
" Liber Synodalis," 43 
" Lieh hsien ch'iian chuan," 60 
Lieh-tzu, 135 
Life, Eternal (Amitabha), 122, 125, 

148, 160 

Light, 130, 188 : Author of, 126 ; 
Boundless (Amitabha), 122, 125, 
148 ; Cross of, 196 ; of the World, 

Lin Lai-chai, 16 

Lin-ssu, 208 

Ling (*>. Ling-yin), 17 

Ling Chih-ch£, 60 

Ling-chou, 231 

Ling-nan, 222 

Ling-pao, 175 

Ling-p'ai, 65, 143 

Ling-shou, 78, 177 

Ling-tg, 177 ; Palace, 234 

Ling-wU, 141, 169, 231 

Lions, 46, 64 

Lisbon, 29 

Liturgy, Gallican, 124 ; Nestorian, 

Liu Pang, 3 
Liu T'i-shu, 60 
Liu Tsung-yuan, 22, 26, 85, 91, 94, 

218, 270, 278 
Lloyd, A., 118 
Lo Chen-yii, 65 
Lo-han, 141, 168,207, 224, 225 
Lo-po, 45 
Lo-yang, or Lo, 3, 122, 147, 223, 

Lobscheid, 128 
Lochana, 125 
Logos, The, 99-101, 215 
Lokarakcha, 149 
London, 252 

Lotus on Nestorian Monument, 14 
M Lotus-Gospel, etc., The," 131 
Louvre, The, 10 
Love, Incarnation of, 126 
Lowrie, W., 124 
Lu-chia, 68 

Lu-ho-ning-chii-sha, 67 
Lu Lun, 25, 280 
Lii sect, 126 
Lu Hsiu-yen, 34, 37, 56-59, 61, 74, 

175, 184, 245-247, 256; identified 

with Lii Yen, 56-61 
" Lii Tsu ch'iian shu," 60, 61 
Lu Yen, 54-61, 246, 247, 256 ; Lives 

of, 60 ; miracles of, 61 
Lucius Verus, 41 
Luke, 68, 75, l 77 
Lunar race, 123 
Lung, Mount, 221 
Lung-yu, 221 
Luther, M., 154 



Ma-Lo (Mar), 46 
Ma-lo-fu, 183 
Macleane, A. J., 13 
Madhyamika, 121 
Madhyimayana, 120 
Madrid, 4 

Magadha, 77, 217,237, 238 
Magi, Adoration of, 63 
Mahabidjna Djnana Bhikshu, 123 
Mahadad, 68, 69 ; Goushnasaf, 176 
Mahasamghika, 241 
Mahasthanaprapta, 123 
Mahayana, 86, 119-121, 131, 134, 

139, 144,146, 149, 155, 156, 198, 

" Maha Vairochana sutra," 124 
" Mahome'tanisme en Chine," 51, 

Maitreya, 130 
Makhikha, 108, 109 
Malabar Breviary and Church, no 
Manchu dynasty, 7, 26, 27, 55 
Manchuria, 53, 77, 90 
Manichean, Temple, 220; writings, 

6 5. 
Manicheans, 232, etc. 
* Manichden, Un Traite*," etc., 190 
Manjusri, 72 

Mar, 46, etc. ; Sergius, 13, etc. 
Maran Zekha, 198, 199 
Marga, 186, 194 
Margoliouth, Prof., 254 
Mark, St., 68 

Marriage of Priests, 145-155, 160 
Martini, M., 15 
Maru, Maro (Mar), 46 ; (Merv), 243, 

Mary, The Virgin, 50, 99-102, 112 
Masudi, 248 

Matai, 177 

Matsumoto, M., no 

Matthew, 75, 177 ; St., 68 ; a vege- 
tarian, 115 

Maudgalyayana, 138 

Mawaralnahr, 251 

Maximian, 104 

Mecca, 116 

Medes, no 

Medicine, Schools of, 1 16 

Meiitsu, 179 

Meiji, 32 

Mel' hites, 52 

Meliapor, 14, 27 

Memento, The, 65, 145 

Memnon, Archbishop, 103, 104 

Mercy, Vessel of, 195 

Merv, See of, 251, 252 ; and see 

Meshihadad, 176 

Mesopotamia, 39, 41, 43, 109, 114, 
116, 218 

Messiah, The, 15, 40, 46, 67, 68, 70, 
73-75, 152, 160, 163, 190, 191, 195, 
232,234; Religion of, 130; Bud- 
dhist, 130, etc. 

" Messiah, Desire of the Nations," 


Metropolitan Bishop of China, 186, 


Metropolitan Sees, Nestorian, 249 

Metropolitan Museum, New York, 

Mi-li, 62 

Mi-le fo, 160 

Mi-mi-kiao, 55 

Mi-shih-ho (Messiah), 191 

" Mi-shih-ho tzu tsai t'ien ti ching," 

Michael, 176 

Michel, Dr. See Yang Chi-yen 

Middle Kingdom, 162, 185, 186 

"Middle Kingdom, The," 186 

Milis, 62, 114, 142, 154, 175 

Milman, H. H., in 

Min-yen, 68 

Ming dynasty, 7, 26, 27, 59, 81, 

Ming-i, 179 

Ming-t'ai, 68, 177 

Ming-Ti, 86 

Miroku, 12, 160 

Missionaries, Buddhist, 72, 140, etc. ; 
Christian, 159, etc.; Jesuit, 26; 
Nestorian, 1, 12, 13, 47, 54, 64, 72, 
107, 109, 126, 131-133, H8, 157, 
159-161, 216, 217, 227, 228, etc.; 
Persian, 255 ; relation of to Bud- 
dhists, etc., 92 

Mitama, 65 

Mo (Mar), 46 

Mo-chii-ssu, 68 

Mo-mu-chi-ssu, 68 

Mo-sa-chi-ssu, 68 

" Mo-sa-chi-ssu ching," 70 

Moabite Stone, 10, 155 

Mohammed, 50, 52, 116, 220 

Mohammedan, -anism, -ans, 1, 2, 7, 
14, 47-53, 60, 89, 91, 116, 158, 160, 
161, 220, 224, 232,233 ; Christians 
absorbed by, 91, 109 ; persecution 



of, 82, 85-90; population, 49, etc. ; 
writings, 65 

Monasteries, destruction, 86-88, etc. ; 
281-287 ; Head of, 252, 253 ; names 
of, 132, 230, 231 ; Nestorian, 213, 
214, 219, 220, 226, etc. ; number 
of Nestorian, 240, 241 ; Persian, 
213, etc. ; Ta-ch'in, 213, 214, 219, 
220, etc. ; White Horse, 253 ; and 
see Buddhist 

Mongolia, 53 

Mongol dynasty, 90 

Mongols, 77 

Monks, Assyrian or Nestorian, 132, 
208, 209, 214, etc. ; Buddhist, 125, 
1 27, etc. ; number of foreign, 88, 
91 ; as soldiers, 237 

Monophy sites, 91, 99 

Monte Cassino, 116 

Monte Corvino, John of, 90 

Moon, worship of, 136 

Moore, T., 250 

Mopsuestia, Bishop of, 99 

Morality, Chinese, 157 

Moses, 68, 70, 176 ; the Armenian, 

Mosques, 220 
Mostasin, 109 
Mosul, 243 
Mou-shih, 68 

" Mou-shih fa wang ching," 70 
Moule, A. C, 20-22, 49, 189-191, 193, 

197, 203, 204, 210, 211, 228, 232, 

241, 242, 247 
Mu-chia-ho, 138 
Mu-hu-fu, 47, 88 
Mu-yii, 198 
Mukan, no, 186 
Murad, Khan, 49, 50; of Kurduz, 

Murakami, S., 134 
Murddhabhichikta, 137 
"Musulmans Chinois, Recherches 

sur les," 49 
Muller, Max, 50, 93 
Mykenae, 64 

Na-ning-i, 68 

Nadir Shah, 254 

Nagarjuna, 120, 121, 131, 147, x 55> 

Naisho, 179 
Nakamura, 32 
Nakatomi-no-asomi, 62 
Nama Amitabha, 148, 149 

" Nan-hua chen ching," 135 

Nanjio, Bunyo, 13, 74. H9, *5i 

Nara, 62, 63, 145, 239 

Nativity, The, 232, 234 

Navarra, 49 

Neander, 98, III 

Nei-cheng, 179 

Nepal, 118 

Nestorian, Books, language of, 115 ; 
Church, doctrines of, 99-101, 111- 
115 ; rise of, 97-1 n ; Churches in 
China, 90, etc. ; Fasts, 1 14 ; In- 
scription, passim; text of, 260-270 ; 
translation of, 162-180; Liturgy, 
61 ; Missionaries, 1, 12, 13, etc., and 
see Missionaries ; Patriarchs, 
51, 52, 106, 109, etc. ; list of, 106- 
108; Physicians, 62, 116, 117; 
Priest, titles of, 94, etc. ; Writings, 
65, etc. 

" Nestorian Inscription, Considera- 
tions on the," 246 ; " Critical Study 
of the," 18,30,245 

Nestorian Monument, 56, 57, 62, 71, 
73-75, 89, 91, 94, 107, III, 124, 
126, 133, 140-143, 153-155, 159, 
174, 175, 180, 234, 236, 252, 255, 
etc. ; Buddhist terms on, 74, 132, 
217, 218, etc. ; Chinese authors 
upon, 291-306; Conclusion of 
Introduction to, 155-161 ; Copies 
of, 10-12 ; Erection of, 35, 81, 
etc. ; Described by Semedo, 27 ; 
Em. Diaz upon, 307-309 ; 
Effect of Discovery, 95-97 ; First 
known in Japan, 31 ; Historical 
value of, 1, etc. ; How found, 21, 
22; Japanese ignorance of, 31, 
32 ; Not in early " Stone and 
Metal Collections," 81, 82 ; Mate- 
rial of, 12 ; Persian word on, 15 ; 
Position of, 3, 6-9 ; Quotations on, 
15 ; Removal of, 6-9 ; Replica of 
in Japan, II, 32; in New York, 
11 ; Rubbing of, 17 ; Sanskrit on, 
15 ; Size of, 12 ; Study of in the 
East, 30-32 ; Syriac on, 15, 28-30, 
35, 75, 76, 78, 175-180, 230, 238, 
248, etc., 260, 265-270 ; Versions 
of, 28-30, 34, 35, 162-180 ; When 
buried, 81-92 ; When found, 19- 
21 ; Where found, 15-19; Where 
first erected, 22-26 

" Nestorian Monument in China, 
The," 35; "of Hsi-an fu," 184; 



" On the Genuineness of the," 


Nestorians, passim; causes of their 
failure, 159; chief merit of, 157; 
Chinese name of, 127-132 ; fate of 
early, 48 sqq. ; influence of, 1 56 ; 
on Buddhism, 118-161 ; introduce 
civilization, 52, 11 5-1 18; persecu- 
tion of, 82, 85-90 ; vegetarians, 

Nestorius, 97-106, ill, 112, 183 

Neumann, 30, 33, 248 

New Testament, Syrian Canon of, 

New York, 10, 11 

Nichiren, 139, 146 

Nieh-p'an Sect, 126 

Nten y 229 

Nien Ch'ang, 142, 233 

Nien-ssu sh£ng (24 Sages), 68, 163, 

Nijo Castle, 214 

Nimoksha, 120 

Nineveh, 244, 253 

Ning, King of, 226, 230 

Ning-hsia, 231 

Ning-kuo, Prince of, 141, 168 

Ning-shu, 175, 242 

" Ning-ssu ching," 69 

" Ning yeh tun ching," 69 

Nirmanakaya, 1*25, 195 

Nirvana, 121, 126, etc. 

" Nirvana sutra," 44 

Nisibis, 105, 109 

Nisshin, 176 

Noah, 177 

Normans, 137 

Northern Region, 239, etc. 

Northumbria, 130 

Noyes, H. V., 49 

O-Bon-Matsuri, 140 

Odoric, 90 

Old Testament, 163, 191 

Ollone, d\ 49 

Olopan, -pen, -pun. See A-LO-PEN 

Okakura, Y., 1 1 

Okuno-in, 12 

One-stroke-freedom, 185 

Ono-no-imoko, 140 

Orders, Nestorian, 113, 114, 193 

Origen, 99 

" Origines du Culte Chretien," 91, 124 

Osrhcene, 43 

Otsuki, 44 

Ou-yang Hsiin, 57, 133, 247 
Oxford, 6 
Oxus, 40, 25 1 

Pa-Kua Chiao, 48 

Pai-lien Chiao, 48 

Pai-yun Chiao, 48 

Palestine, 39, 182 

Palmyra, 42 

Pamphylia, 103 

Pan Ch'ao, 41 

Pan-ku, 181 

P'an-na-mi, 76, 225, 290 

" Pao-hsin fa wang ching," 70 

Pao-kuo, 179 

Pao-ling, 178 

Pao-lu, 68 

H Pao-lu fa wang ching," 69 

" Pao ming ching," 69 

Pao-ta, 176 

Papas, 162, 187, 224, 255, 260 

" Paramita sutra, Six," 186, 194 

Paramitas, Six, 151 

Parthia, 39, 41, 44-46 

Parthian, fruit, 46 ; incense, 45, 219 

Pataliputra, 218 

Patriarch, 79, 97-100, 102-104, 106, 
181-183, etc. ; Buddhist, 137, 252, 
etc.; Nestorian, 51, 52, 114, 175, 
186, 238, 242, etc. ; hereditary 
after 1557, 115 ; list of, 106-108 

Patricius, 183 

Paul, 68, 69, 75, 178 ; Hsu (see Hstf 
Kuang-ch'i), St., 157, 158, 216 

Pauthier, G., 30, 34, 76, 90, 130, 204, 
207, 241, 245, 248, 249 

Pearl, 12-14 

Pechili, 44, 96. See Chih-li 

Pei-lin, 6, 8 

Peking, 6, 8, 65 ; Metrop. See of, no 

Pelliot, P., 61, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 75, 
78, 80, 115, 190, 207, 208,215, 216, 

Pen, 185 

P'en-ch^ng, 58 

P*eng Yen, 84 

Persecution of, Buddhists, 133, 134, 
143 ; the third, 89 ; Christians, 
159, etc. ; Foreign Faiths, 82, 83, 
85-90; Nestorians, 109, 116 

Persia, 39, 42-44, 46, 52, 76, 79, 80, 
91, 105, 109, no, 114-116, 130, 
158, 189, 213, 225, 241, 244, 245, 
250, 251, etc. 

Persian, Persians, 98, 153, 163, 202, 



225, etc. ; Chief, 206, 257, 258 ; 
tablet in memory of, 271 ; Cos- 
tume, 63 ; Hawk, 46 ; in Japan, 
61, 62 ; Monastery, 81, 213, etc. ; 
Physicians, 142 ; Priests, 72, etc. ; 
Religion, 130, etc. ; Words in China, 

45. 46 
Peter, 177 ; Disciple" of Mar Timothy, 

Pethion, Mar, 243 
Phillips, G., 78 
Phrin, 182 
Phrygia, 64 
Phrygian caps, 63 
Phuses, 178 
Physicians, Nestorian, 62, 116, 117 ; 

Persian, 142 
" Pi S ch'i ching," 70 
Pi-lu-ssu, 241 ; and see FlRUZ 

Pien-liang, 4 

Pill of Immortality, 53 ; Sect of, see 
Chin-tan Chiao 

Ping-yang, 13, 181 

P'ing-wang, 226 

P'ing-yang, 55 

Po-jo, 135 

Po-ssii, 46 

Po-to-li,78,79, 181, 183 ; = Patriarch, 


P'o-li, 240 

Polin, 76 

Polo, Marco, 90, 108, 253 ; " Travels 
of," 254 

Polycarp, 41 

Pomegranate, 46 

Pope, A., 192, 213 

Poro, 178 

Post-towns, Number of, 5 ; inscrip- 
tion on wall of, 23, 276, 277 

Praise-sutra, 65, etc. 

Prajna, 72-75,92, 135, x 4o, 148, 186, 
194 ; known to Kobo, 75 

Ylpdffou, 45 

" Pratimoksha sutra," 1 20 

Precepts, 200, 201 ; Eight, 193 

Precious Mountain, 167, 217 

Priesthood, Head of the, 255 

Priests, Buddhist, 200, etc. ; marriage 
of, 145-155, 160; Nestorian, 148, 
200, 236, 238, etc. 

Proclus, 10 1 

" Prodromus Coptus," 29 

Provinces, The Ten, 221, 222 

Psalm cxix. quoted, 113 

Ptolemy, 117, 249 

Pu-cheng Ward, 82, 241 
Pu-k'ung-chin-kang, 127, 135, 137 
P'u-chi, 159, 178 
P'u-chou fu, 54 
P'u-hsien, 137 
P'u-lun, 141, 168, 230 
P'u-t'ao, 45 

Pure Land. See Sukhavati 
" Pure-land Sutra," 13, etc. 
Purgatory, 113, 139, 140 
Pushi, 178 
Pyramids, The, 161 

Quakers, 192 

" Question of Ta-ts'in," etc., 78 

Quietists, 192 

R initial, 77, 205 

Rabban, 204, 205, 211, 257 

Radish, 45 

Rai-i, 177 

Rajagriha, 217, 238 ; Little, 238 

WH 45 

Ratnaghiri, 217 

Ratnamati, 217 

Real Presence, The, 1 1 3 

Reformation, The, 143 

Rei-hai, 65, 143 

Reinaud, 248 

u Relations," etc, 248 

Religions, Harmonizing of, 14, 

136 sqq. 
Renaudot,E., 248 
Republic, Chinese, 30 
Resurrection, The, 196 ; Hymn of, 

199, 200 
Ricci, M., 18, 28 
Richard, T., 53, 56, 118, 131 
Richi, 218 
Riken, 177 
Rinsai Sect, 146 
Rippon, 178 
Riyo, 179 

Rockhill, W. W., 182 
Roman, Empire, 40, 41, 76, 157, 182, 

207 ; Military Engines, 137 
" Roman Empire, Decline and Fall 

of," 38, 52 
Rome, 28, 29, 38, 41-43, 77, 106, 137 
Rosetta Stone, 1, 10, 155 
Roumania, no 
Royal Residence, City of, 171, 237, 

Ruha-dekudsa, 67 
" Ruins of Desert Cathay," 232 



Rupa, 20 1 

Russia, 93, 205 ; Trans-Caspian, 250 

Rustam of Henaitha, 243 

Ryobu Shinto, 136, 239 

Sa-la-ha-hsi, 250 

Sabrisho, 175, 177 

Sage, 202, 203 

Sages, Twenty-four, 68, 163, 191 

Sahesvaradja, 123 

Saikyo, 5 

Saints, Festival of All, 136, 137 ; 
Names of, 68 

Sakyamuni, or Shakyamuni, 7, 72, 
93, 125, 130, 132, 138, 147, ifli 
216, 218 

Sakya-putriya-sramana, 73 

Sakyas, 119 

Salerno, 116 

Salisbury, E. E., 33, 34 

Salvation, by Faith, Goal of, Self-, 

Samadhi, 194 

Samarkand, 90, 109, no 

Sambhogakaya, 124, 125 

Samgha, 125, 138 

Samghapala, 149 

Samgharama, 72 

Samgha varman, 149 

Samponodo, 241 

Samson, 178 

Samyak sambuddha, 133 

San chi eking, 69 

San-lun Sect, 126 

San-pao-nu, 241 

"San Wei (meng tu) tsan ching," 
70 ; transl., 66, 67, 272 

San-yuan, 15-17 

San'a, in 

Santhran Basilica, 124 

Sanskrit, 44, 72, 75, 92, 122, 241, etc. 

Saracens, 137 ; and see Mohamme- 

Saragh, 94, 175, 222, 248-250, 252 

Sarakhs, 249 

S'astras, imported, 137 

Satan, 15, 46 

M Sat-paramita sutra," 72, 186, 194 

Sayce, A. H., 63, 64 

Schaff, 100, 101 

Schlegel, G., 241 

Science, physical, ([7 

Scriptures, 132, etc. 

Sea, Coral or Red, 167, 217 

Secret Societies, 48, 49, 53 

Sects, Buddhist, 126, etc. 

Sees, List of Nest. Metrop., 109, 

Sejistan, 251 
Seleucia (-Ctesiphon), 41, 106, no, 

115, 244 ; Council at, 106, 453 
Semedo, A., 14, 17, 19, 27-29, 95 
Se-ngan. See Hsi-an 
Seng, 132 
Seoul, 13 

Sepulchre, Priest of the, 176 
Serakhs, 250, 252 
Seres, no, 249 
Sergius, of Maallethaya, 243 ; Mar, 

68, 7o,75,9o. 177-179,255 
Seric, 249 

Sha-chou, 61, 65, 71, 208, 215, 272 
Shahrakhs, 250 
" Shan k'o lii ching," 69 
Shan-nan, 221 
Shan-si, 44, 53, 54,96,221 
Shan-tao, 147, 148, 152, 1 S3, 219 
Shan-tso, 256 
Shan-tung, 53, 96, 221 
Shan-wu-wei, 127, 135 
Shang dynasty, 239 
Shang-chu-kuo, 206, 257 
Shanghai, 77, 118 
Shang-te, 205 
Shang-tso, 254 
Shang-tu, 3, 256 
ShS-ti-ko, 46 
Shedek, 46 
Shen-lung, 82 
Shen-shen, 178 
Shen-si, 8, 21, 27, 44, 49, 53, 221, 255, 

Shing, 187, 188, 191, 203 
Sheng-hsien Chiao, 49 
Sheng-jen, 246 
Sheng-li, 167, 222, 223 
Shiang-thsua, 178, 254-256 
Shih (Lion), 46 
"Shih-chi," 181, etc. 
" Shih-ching," 128 
" Shih-li-hai ching," 69 
Shih-lun Sect, 126 
Shih Ssii-ming, 23 
Shih Tao, 221 
Shih-tsun, 132 
Shiken, 179 
Shin Sect, Shin-shu, 12, 146, 197, 

198, 201 
Shingon Sect, -shu, 11, 12, 138, 142, 

146. 201 




Shinran, 139, 146-148, 152-154, 197, 

219 ; his predecessors, 147 
Shin-shin, 178 
Shinto, 125, 136, 201 ; Number of 

priests and shrines, 86 
"Shinto the Way of the Gods," 125 
Shir (Lion), 46 
Shiratori, K., 40, 77, 78, 205 
Shitoku, 179 
Shomu, 125, 220, 241 
"Shosan Jodo Bustu Setsuju kyo," 

Shotoku, 177 
Shou-i, 178 
Shoubhalmaran, 179 
" Shu lio ching," 69 
Shuitsu, 178 
Shun-yang-kung, 256 
Shun Yang-tsze, 54* SS 
Shutoku, 179. 
Si-an. See Hsi-an 
Siam, 118 
Siddartha, 119 

Si-gan, or Si-ngan. See Hsi-an 
"SiKva, 45 
Silas, 68 
Simeon, 68, 176, 178, 179 ; Metro- 

politan of Persia, 244 
Simonians, 105 

Sinae, 249 ; Metrop. See of, 109 
Sinan Pasha, 50 
Sisinnius, 97 
Siurhia. 249 
Slaves, 88, 94, 103 
Smyrna, 41 

So-lo, 68 

Socrates, 98 

Sodo Sect, 146 

Solomon, 180 ; of Al-Hadithah, 243 

Soltania, Archbishop of, 90 

Soul, Survival of the, 201 

Souls, Festival of departed, 136-140, 
143, 144, 155, i°° a , 

Southern Sea, Islands of, 72 

Sozomen, quoted, 43 

Sphatika, 15, 171,240 

Sphsaph, 243 

" Spring and Autumn," 39 

Sravasti, 218 

Ssii, 132, 187, 214 

Ssu-chu, 132 

Ssii-ch'uan, 53, 222 ; Chiao, 48 

Ssu-ma Ch'ien, 39, 45, 181 

Ssii-ma Kuang, 158 

" Ssu-men ching," 223 

Ssu-shSng, 223 
Ssu-shih-ts'an-chun, 57, 247 
Stanley, A. P., 132 
Stein, M. A., 51, 63, 148, 216, 232, 

"Stele Chre*tienne de Si-ngan fou, M 

Sthavira, 255 
Su-chou, Suchau, 90 
Su Tan, 59 
SuTsung, 137, 141, 169, 171, 173, 

231, 232, 239 
Su Tzu-tan, 59 

Subhak'arasimha, 127, 135, 143 
" Suddharmapundarika sutra," 130 ; 

Versions, 136 
Suddhodana, 119 
Sugawara-no-michizane, 140 
Sui dynasty, 4, 134, 181, 215, 251 
Suikwa, 45 
Sukei, 176 

Sukhavati, 123, 147, 149, I5 r » x 5 2 
"Sukhauati Vyuha," 149, ^o, *5«i l 97 
Sumantrabhadra, 137 
Sun Yat-sen, 30 

vSun, 128, 150, 152, etc.; -goddess, 
125, 126 ; Horn of, 228, 229 ; on 
Nest. Monument, 131 ; Region in 
the, 250 ; worship of the, 136 
Sunday, 202 

Sun-religion, 48 ; The Great, 127 
Sung dynasty, 4, 59, 8l » l 5 6 > I 5 8 , 

160, 221 ; Liu, 87 
Sung Ching, 208 
Sung Min-ch'iu, 81, 82, 220, etc. 
Sutras, passim; imported, 137 
Svara, 123 

Syria, 42-44, 64, 72, 73, 77, 79, 9»» 
105, no, 115, 116, 132, 182, 191, 
Syriac, 232, etc. ; Alphabet, 63 ; 
Language, 115; Names, 68-70, 
175-180, 204, 206 ; Script, 51 ; 
Terms, 188, 189, 191 ; in Japan, 46 
" Syriac, Church, The," 206 ; "Litera- 
ture, Short History of," 36, 243 
Syrian Bishops, 103, 104, etc. 
Szechuan. See Ssu-CH'UAN 

Ta-Ch'in, 39-42, 47, 76-78, 81, 85, 
88, 141, 162, 163, 165-168, 181-183, 
191, 207, 209, 210, 213, 216, 217, 
229, 230, etc. ; 310-320 ; Coins, 40 ; 
Emperor, 83, 84 ; Monastery, 72, 
73, 81, 162, 166, 213, 214, 219, 



231 ; Parchment, 40 ; Rebellion, 

"Ta Ch'ing I-t'ung-chih," 256 
Ta-jih Chiao, 125, 127, 1 29-131 
"Ta-jih Ching," 124 
Ta-kuang-chih-san-tsang, 137 
Ta-shih-chih, 123 
Ta-shih-chu, 236 
Ta-so, 241, 242 
" Ta Tang lu tien," 57, 247 
Ta-te 1 , 132, 205 
Ta-ts'in. See Ta-CH'IN 
Ta-yiin Ssu, 220 
Tachibana, Z., 51, 63, 72, 148, 

Tadjik, 80 
Tai-Tsung, 137, 141, 142, 169, 174, 

232, 233, 239 
T'ai-ch'ang Ssii, 252 
T*ai-chi, 223 
T'ai Chou, 37, 57, 58, 175, 245, 247 ; 

fa, 58 
T'ai-ho, 179 
T'ai-Tsung, 51, 81, 88, 165, 203, 204, 

207-209, 212, 214-216, 220-222, 

224, 227,228, 241, 251 
T'ai-yang Chiao, 48 
Taiwa, 179 

Takakusu, J., 32, 71, 74 
Tama, 12 

Tamerlane. See TiMUR 
T'ang dynasty, or Land of, 2, 4, 5, 

15, 18, 30, 32-35, 46, 51, 57, 58, 61, 

75. 77, 92-94, n6, 134-136, H5» 

148, 156, 158, 166, 172, 173, 175, 

181, 184, 200, 203, 206-208, 210, 

211, 214, 215, 223-225, 228, 229, 
236, 238-240, 242, 245-248, 251, 
253, 255, 257, 276 

"T'ang, History of," 78 ; "Six Codes 

of," 57, 247 
T'ang Chang, 62 
"T'ang ching chiao pei sung ch^ng 

ch'iian," 229 
"T'ang huiyao," 211, 288 
"Tang Shu," 78 
" T'ang ts'ai tzu ch'uan," 60 
Tangut, 90, 1 10 
Tao, 60, 202, 203, 212, 215, 224 
Tao-an, 215 
Tao-ch'o, 147, 152, 219 
"Tao te ching," 192, 212, 224, 233 
Taoism, 92, 132, 188, 192, 202, 205, 

212, 215, etc. 

Taoist, Taoists, 1, 53, 134, 138, 139, 

143, 156-158, 167, 219, 234, 254, 

Tarsa, 241 
Tarsus, 99 

Tartars, 77, 253 ; Christian, 90 
Tashkand, 251 
Tathagata, 123, 133, 149 
Te-chien, 180 
T6-hua, 58 

T6-Tsung, 72-74, 83-85, 232, 234, 239 
Tehuristan, 175 
Tejen, 250 

Tencho-setsu, 233, 234 
Tendai. See T'ien-t'ai 
Tenduc, 90 
Tennyson, A., 195 
Terauchi, 119 
Testudo, 237 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, 99, 100, 

Theodosius II., 98, 102 
Theophilus, 99, 102, 124, 190 
Theotokos, 99, 100, 112 
Thian shan, 90 
Thiersant, D. de, 51, 220 
Thomas, of Kashar, 243 ; of Marga, 

36, 186; St., 95, no; Christians 

of St., 28 ; Tomb of St., 14, 27 
Thorns, Crown of, 155 
Three, Dynasties, 87 ; Gates, 195 ; 

Kingdoms, 4 
" Three-sphere sutra," 69 
Ti-chiu chieh, 233 
Tiao-chih, 39 
Tibet, 118, 137, 258 
T'ien-ch'ang chieh, 233, 234 
T'ien-ch'i, 18 

T'ien-pao, 141, 168, 227, 229 
" Tien-pao-tsang ching," 69 
T'ien shan, 90 
T'ien-t'ai, 92; Sect, 126, 130, 131, 

146 ; Mount, 37, 57, 126 
Tigris, 39, 105, 218 
Timothy, Mar, 36, 37, 107, 11 1, 186, 

187, 206, 238, 243, 244 
Timur, 48, 52, 106, 108, 109 
To-hui, 68 

" To-hui sheng wang ching," 69 
Tokhara, 122, 138 
Tokharestan, 80 
Tokuken, 180 
Tokyo, 40, 62i 63, 71, 77, 82, 118, 

" Tokyo Asahi Shimbun," 202 
Toleration, Religious, 212, 213 



Tonsure, 200 
Tower, 124 
Transmigration, 121 
Transubstantiation, 113 
Trigault, N., 15-17, 19, 21, 28 
Trikaya, 124, 125, 196 
Trinity, Buddhist, 123-125 ; Doc- 
trine of, 148 ; False doctrine of, 
50 ; The Holy, 67, 190 
Tripitaka, Chinese, 71, 135 ; Cata- 
logue of, 74 
Tripitaka Bhadanta, 137 
Triratna-dasa, 241 
Trividha Dvara, 195 

Tsai y 229 

Tsao-ho, 19, 22 

" Ts'ao-shu tzu kao," 59 

Ts'en-wen, 68 

Tsingy 186 

Tsou Ching-chtrng, 16 

Tsun-ching, 65 

Tsung (Emperor), 133 

Tsung Ch'u-k'o, 82 

Tsushima Channel, 45 

Tu Ju-hui, 208 

Tuan Fang, 257 

Tun-huang, 65, 216, 232 

Tung Pin, 54 

Tung Ch'ang, 59 

Tung Ch'i-ch'ang, 59 

" T'ung chen ching," 69 

"T*ung hsiian ch£n ching," 135 

Turkestan, 43, 48, 237, 251 

Turki, 232 

Turks, 77, 244, 248 

Turns ambulatoria, 237 

Tus, 251 

" Tsii chih t'ung chien," 158, 1 59, 234 

Tzii-fei tao yiian, 256 

Tzii-mu Chiao, 48 

" Tz'u li po ching," 70 

Uigurs, 51, 52, 60,72, 106, 109, 220, 
231,232, 237, 240 ; Christians, 90 ; 
Script, 51, 232 

Ullambana, 136, 138-140 

" Ullambana sutra," 138 

Uno, T., 9 

Ural-Altaic tribes, 77 

Urum, 77 

Urumtsi, 90 

Uyeno Library, or Museum, 62, 82, 

89, 257 M 
Uzumasa, 64 

Vaidachi, 151,152 

Vairochana, 124-127, 130, 131, 136, 

144, 155, 160 
"Vairuchana sutra," 129 
Vajra Bodhi, 127, 135, 137, 143 
Valentinus, 102 
Vasubandha, 147 
Vidjnana, 200 
Vinaya, 126 
Virya, 194 
Visitor, 187 
Voltaire, 33 

Wagis, 141 

Wah Abi Kobsha, 51, 220 

Wakichi, 176 

Wamyo, 179 

" Wan hsing t'ung p'u," 60 

Wang Ch'ang, 31, 81, 299 

Wang Hung, 83 

Wang Hung-hao, 15 ; and see 

Wang, Philip 
Wang Mang, 3 
Wang, Philip, 15, 16,95 
Wang-she ch'6ng, 237 
Wang Shih-ch6n, 60 

Wang-yang Tzu, 54 

Water-melon, 45 

Way, The, 202, 203, 212, 215, 224 

Weak Waters, 167, 218 

Wei y 203 

Wei, dynasty, 4, 59, 87, 167 ; 
northern, 208 ; River, 6, 19, 22, 73 

"Wei, History of," 182, 216 

Wei-nan, 221 

Wei-p'ai, 65, 143 

"Wei Shu," 182, 216 

Week, 202 

Wen-cheng, 177 

W£n-chung, 135 

Wen-ming, 177 

Wen-shun, 178 

M Western Heaven, Lao-tzu's ascent 
to," 215; " Travels to>»i55 r)> . 

" Western Lands, Records of/ 107, 

Western, Paradise, 123, 147, H9> 
155, 215 ; Regions, 39. 4©, 42, 05, 
158, 231 ; Sea, 218 

"Western World, Records of," 79, 
238,253 . 

White Foreigners, 39 

White Lily (Lotus) Sect, 48, 57, 215, 

Williams, S. W., 186, 239 



Wood, Striking of, 197, 198 

Wooden Fish, 198 

World, Saviour of (Buddhist), 144, 

148, 150 
"World-healers, The," 131, 138 
World-honoured, 132 
Wright, W., 36, 243-245 
Wrum, 77 
Wu, Emperors, 133 ; Empress, 167, 

219, 220, 222-224 ; 227, 253 ; King, 

Wu-lin, 180 
" Wu sha na ching," 70 
Wu-Ti, 41 
Wu-Tsung, 47, 48, 52, 82, 83, 86, 89, 

90, 281, 285 
Wu Tzii-pi, 180 
Wu- wei Chiao, 48 
Wylie, A., 29, 34, 127, 189, 190, 193, 

I96, 202, 2IO, 211, 228, 232, 240, 
242, 245, 247 

Xavier, St. F., 140 

Yabhallaha, 204, 206, 207 ; III., 

52, 106, 108, 109 
Yaguma, 178 
Yaksamba, 245 
Yamagachi, 140 
Yaman, m 

Yang Chi-yen (Michel), 97 
Yang-chou, 23, 26, 221, 222 ; 

Churches at, 90 
Yang Hsiang.fu. See Y. Jung-chih 
" Yang hsin lu," 59 
Yang Hsiung, 129 
Yang Jung-chih, 30, 190, 193, 194, 

Yang Kuei-fei, 226 
Yang-Ti, 181,251 
Yangtzekiang, 222 
Yao Ch'ung, 208 
Yao Ling-yen, 83 
Yao-lun, 176 

Yao-sen-wen, 46, 175, 245 
Yao-yiian, 177 
Yao-yueh, 176 
Yarkand, 90 
Yaso, 160 
Yedo, 31 
Yeh, 216 

Yeh-chii-mo, 178 

Yeh-hu, 231 

Yeh-li, 175, 225, 252 

Yellow River, 3, 6, 122 

Yen, 242 

Yen (State), 129 

Yeh-ho, 176 

Yen-hsi, 41 

Yesbuzid, 62, 73, 114, 154, 175, 255 

Yesumband, 46, 238 

Yin dynasty, 87 

Yin and Yang, 54, 188, 189 

Ying-hsii, 178 

Ying-t6, 178 

Yoetsu, 176 

Yogacharya, 137, 139 

Yogen, 177 

Yorin, 176 

Yule, H., 76, 90, no, 130, 200, 204, 

248-251, 254 
Yung-chou, 3, 221 
Yung-hsing, 221 
Yii-chou, 221 
Yu-han-nan, 68 
Yu-lan-p6n, 136 
Yuan dynasty, 221 
Yiian-chao, 72, 73 
Yuan-ho, 85 
Yuan Hsiu, 84 
Yiian-i, 177 

" Yuan ling ching," 69 
Yiian-tsung, 179 
Yueh-chih, 44 
Yiieh-tung, 222 
Yiin-fang Hsien-sheng, 54 
Yiin-luan, 147 
Yiin-nan, 90 
Yiin-t'ai-ko, 258 

Zach arias, 69, 179 

Zariaspa, 253 

Zendo, 13, 147 

Zeno, 105, 116 

Zenobia, 42 

Zhinastan, 162, 187, 255 

Zimmermann, J., 130 

Zinai, 199 

Zoroaster, 253 

Zoroastrians, 1, 114; Persecution of, 

82, 85-90 ; Temple of, 82 
Zubaidah, 244 


N A'